A woman who was sexually assaulted by a Red Deer teacher and vice principal when she was 12 years old helped police gather evidence of him admitting to the assaults.

Warren Dexter Fertig, 73, was sentenced on Friday to five years in prison after admitting to having sex with the woman over a three year period in the 1970s.

Warren Fertig

Warren Fertig, 73, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday for raping a girl when he was a teacher and vice principal in the 1970s.

Fertig, who went on to found Allan Dale Trailers and RVs in Red Deer, pleaded guilty in November.

The agreed statement of facts included statements Fertig made several years ago during a meeting with the woman at a Red Deer restaurant.

The woman initiated the meeting at the request of police. Unbeknownst to him, investigators recorded the conversation where he admitted to having sex with her.

She says the meeting was difficult and terrifying.

“I just had to dig deep within myself emotionally and say to myself, basically, that if you want to do something about this, then here is your chance,” she said in an interview with CBC News. 

According to the agreed statement of facts, Fertig started being friendly with the girl after her father died. He would chat with her by her locker each day.

When he started having sex with her, he said she couldn’t tell anyone, If she did, he would make sure no one from her family could attend that school, the court document said.

The woman didn’t go to the RCMP until decades after the assaults.  

“It was much easier to repress than to deal with it,” she said. “But eventually it catches up to you and you just have to deal with it.”

Now that the court case is over, the woman feels that truth has prevailed.

“I had to do this in order to make life worth living. And how do I feel now? Great. I feel great, because I was heard,” she said.

The woman is now encouraging other victims of sexual violence to speak up.

“Once you have your voice and you’re heard and justice is served, it is so freeing and it is worth doing.”

With files from the CBC's Laura Osman