Ronald Sawa, 60, was escorted to an RCMP van after being sentenced on Monday. ((CBC))

A Regina man who sexually abused nine teenaged boys at a local youth correctional facility over a 15-year period has been sentenced to spend 4½ years in prison.

Ronald Sawa, 60, learned his fate in a Regina courtroom this morning. He pleaded guilty in January to sexual assault. He will serve his sentence at a federal prison in Prince Albert, Sask.

Court heard that Sawa was an employee of the Saskatchewan Boys Centre between 1974 and 1989 which is when the abuse happened.

The facility is now known as the Paul Dojack Youth Centre.

Justice Ian McLellan called Sawa's crimes "deplorable," saying he took advantage of vulnerable boys who were looking to turn their lives around.

"Any incident of sexual abuse is deplorable," McLellan said. "[The] actions of the accused are likewise."

McLellan told Sawa that he's likely to face a number of civil lawsuits in connection to the abuse.

Sawa remained silent throughout the short hearing, and was removed from the courtroom in handcuffs. His lawyer declined to comment.

Crown attorney Roger DeCorby told CBC News that Sawa's actions left lasting scars on his victims.

"A lot of the victims — if not all of them — have had considerable contact with the justice system over the years … the one victim that did give a victim impact statement certainly talked about how he trusted [Sawa].

"The fact that he was abused by him certainly warped his thinking," DeCorby said.