Manitoba

2 more charges laid against Winnipeg high school football coach accused of sexual abuse

Winnipeg high school football coach and teacher Kelsey McKay faces two more charges related to sexual abuse of minors during his time at Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate.

McKay arrested on Wednesday, charged and released with conditions

Kelsey Albert Dana McKay, 52, is pictured in this photo posted from the Vincent Massey Collegiate Trojans football team Twitter account on Sept. 23, 2021. McKay is charged with numerous sexual offences stemming from allegations made by former students and football players he coached at Vincent Massey and Churchill high schools in Winnipeg. (VMC Trojans Football/Twitter)

Winnipeg high school football coach and teacher Kelsey McKay faces two more charges related to sexual abuse of minors during his time at Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate.

McKay, 52, was arrested on April 12 and initially charged with 14 offences related to the sexual exploitation of minors while he worked as a teacher and coached football at Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate for approximately two decades.

The complainants are five former students at the high schools.

Later in April, three more complainants came forward, saying they had been abused while McKay was working at Churchill High School.

Yet another former student has since come forward with allegations, and McKay was charged on Wednesday with another count of sexual abuse and another count of luring a child under 18, Const. Dani McKinnon from the police public information office told reporters at a news conference Wednesday.

"[He] reported being exploited and sexually assaulted as a teen by the same high school coach during the 2000s," she said.

McKay now faces a total of 24 charges:

  • Nine counts of sexual assault.
  • Seven counts of sexual exploitation.
  • One count of sexual interference.
  • Seven counts of luring.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

McKay has been released from police custody on a number of conditions.

All nine victims are now adults, but they were minors when they say the offences occurred.

McKinnon didn't rule out the possibility that more people will come forward with a similar story.

"This particular coach taught for two decades … I certainly hope that's not the case, but it wouldn't be surprising given the information and the magnitude," she said.

The first five complainants' allegations are about incidents at McKay's home, McKinnon said at a news conference on April 13, after McKay's initial arrest.

McKinnon also said on April 13 that McKay forged relationships with students that were beyond what is appropriate for teachers and coaches, and that she would not be surprised if more complainants came forward after learning about his arrest.

Ted Fransen, who was then the Pembina Trails School Division superintendent, told parents via email on April 13 that McKay had been put on unpaid administrative leave and would not be allowed on school property. 

As of Monday, he is still on leave.

Anyone with information that could help investigators, or those who want to speak with an officer on the case, can call the sex crimes unit at 204-986-6245.

Police educating on sexual abuse in sport

Police have announced a new initiative to educate young athletes, parents and sporting organizations on ways to prevent sexual abuse.

Officers with the community relations unit will offer presentations on problem behaviours among coaches in an effort to address them before they lead to sexual abuse. They include:

  • Having one-on-one electronic communication with an athlete.
  • Inviting an athlete home.
  • Being alone in a vehicle with an athlete.
  • Sharing a room alone or overnight with an athlete.
  • Frequently touching an athlete without asking permission or insisting that personal massages are beneficial.

Insp. George Labossier says sports give coaches ample time to groom athletes for abuse and exploitation.

"It's something that happens over time. A coach can certainly leverage … various opportunities to their advantage," he said at the Monday news conference.

Abuse in sport occurs more often than people think, Labossier said.

"Young athletes do look to their coaches for that leadership, that guidance, and therefore there's an element of trust put in that individual that perhaps gives those coaches distinct opportunities."

McKinnon added: "The coaches all know the rules. They've all taken the certifications and they know what's acceptable and what is not acceptable. We're not blaming anybody in particular, but if you do start to see those signs, you should definitely follow up on them."

More charges laid against Winnipeg high school football coach accused of sexual abuse

3 months ago
Duration 2:03
Winnipeg high school football coach and teacher Kelsey McKay faces two more charges related to sexual abuse of minors during his time at Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate.

Support is available for anyone who has been sexually assaulted. You can access crisis lines and local support services through this Government of Canada website or the Ending Violence Association of Canada database. ​​If you're in immediate danger or fear for your safety or that of others around you, please call 911. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Bergen is a journalist for CBC Manitoba and previously reported for CBC Saskatoon. Email story ideas to rachel.bergen@cbc.ca.

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