A former teacher and local businessman who admitted to raping a student in the 70s will be sentenced in March.
Warren Fertig, 73, pleaded guilty to one count of rape in Red Deer court last year. His trial was held last Friday.
The Red Deer businessman was initially charged in September 2011 with one count of rape, one count of sexual intercourse with a female under the age of 14 and one count of sexual intercourse with a female between the age of 14 and 16. These charges stem from May 2010 when Red Deer RCMP initiated an investigation into a historic sexual assault after receiving a complaint.
Fertig, who was a teacher at Riverglen School at the time, had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student between 1975 and 1977. The female student was 12-years-old when the relations started and 15 when it ended. Fertig was aged 35 when the offenses began and was 37 when they ended.
The victim, who cannot be named due to a publication ban, read a victim impact statement in court as part of the trial on Friday.
“My childhood was stripped from me. My childhood was stolen. I was naive and vulnerable,” she said, adding she was not only a student of Fertig’s when the offences occurred, but she also babysat for his family during that time as well. “He raped me for three long years.”
She added Fertig would drive her to either a farmer’s field or park in an alley where he would sexually assault her. “I felt tainted and dirty. He would remind me not to tell anyone and would repeatedly ask me if I told anyone,” she said. “I never said anything. I always tried to repress my memories.”
She added she decided to come forward with the allegations in recent years after her mother passed away.
“After my mother passed away I knew it was time to deal with this. I had to trust I was doing the right thing and the justice would prevail,” she said. “This has been a hugely stressful ordeal.”
“I chose to enter a guilty plea so people that I hurt would not hurt anymore. I admit to the wrongdoing I perpetuated some 35 years ago,” he said, adding he hopes there will be consideration taken as to how he has lived his life the past 35 years when a sentence is handed down.
Crown Prosecutor Jason Snider is asking that a sentence between two to four years to be served in a penitentiary be handed down, while defense lawyer Alain Hepner is asking for a conditional sentence.
Fertig will return to court on March 21 for sentencing.