Former student says she was 'groomed' by Saskatoon educator accused of sexual assault
WARNING: Some readers may be troubled by details contained in this story
Aaron Benneweis, 46, has been charged by Saskatoon Police with sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor while in a position of trust or authority.
A former student of Legacy Christian Academy — who requested she not be named — says she came forward to SPS in August of 2022 alleging she was involved in several incidents with Benneweis between 2008 and 2013, starting on her 13th birthday.
“He would just like lock eyes with me, but he would smile just like bigger than normal,” she said.
“He wouldn't like look away. It was kind of like 'Hey, he's looking at me a lot.'”
Benneweis is named in the proposed class-action lawsuit involving former students and staff at the school and adjoining Mile Two Church.
The former student says Benneweis was the athletic director while she attended the school.
“He was my first kiss, and I was 14 at that time,” she said.
She says Benneweis, who was in his early thirties at the time, pressured her into keeping their relationship a secret because his family life and career “depended on it."
“We never had sex, but he would make out with me and be like hands all over bodies, all over each other, but I was never like fully naked with him,” she said.
“He had me stripped down to my underwear in his own bedroom in his house, that kind of thing. He had a condom on multiple times.”
She says when she was 17 years old in 2013, she came forward to then-pastor Keith Johnson to discuss what she calls the “most disgusting thing” she’d ever been a part of.
“The very first thing that Keith said after like five seconds of silence was 'Okay, so obviously we have to make a police report because of the nature of the incidences, but will you lie about your age and say that you are older than you were?'"
Attempts by CTV News to reach Johnson have been unssucessful.
She said she agreed because she “just wanted it to be over at that point."
“I was perfectly groomed and conditioned to see myself as a scapegoat,” she said.
“I thought I was coming out to the proper people. I was already conditioned to agree to whatever they wanted me to do.”
She says Benneweis was relocated to Edmonton shortly after.
SPS says Benneweis turned himself in on Tuesday where he was arrested and released on conditions.
In an email, the pastor at Mile Two Church Brien Johnson says due to the legal situation, the church and school will not be giving interviews or comments.
“We will continue to cooperate fully with the legal process and authorities,” he said.
Benneweis is expected to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court on March 13.
“I am happy that this is finally happening with the proper legal weight behind it because there have been a lot of injustices and a lot of severe stories of abuse for a lot of different people over a lot of years,” said the former student.
“To be honest, Aaron shows up in 95 per cent of my dreams at night to this day because I've never had the proper closure. It's never been dealt with.”
Saskatoon Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
W5 investigates | Priest, neighbours issue plea for help for struggling international students in Cape Breton
Cape Breton University has more than doubled in size by enrolling thousands of international students, and critics say the campus and community weren't ready. Watch the documentary 'Cash Cow' on CTV W5, Saturday at 7 p.m.
Afghan women cyclists who escaped the Taliban are chasing their dreams in Canada
After the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan and banned sports for female athletes, Afghan women cyclists are chasing their dreams in Canada.
Unable to leave Syria, mothers of Canadian children forfeit repatriation to keep their families together
In a choice forced upon them by the Canadian government, four mothers have made the agonizing decision to forfeit an opportunity to repatriate their children from open air prisons in northeast Syria.
Recent immigrants more likely to have confidence in Parliament, Canadian media: Statistics Canada
Statistics Canada has released its new report about the Canadians level of confidence in Canada’s institutions, finding that recent immigrants are more likely to express confidence in the media and parliament.
Federal minimum wage, taxes on alcohol: Here's what's changing in Canada April 1
The federal minimum wage is increasing from $15.55 per hour to $16.65, and taxes are going up on gas and alcohol nationwide starting April 1.
A glass of wine or beer per day is fine for your health: new study
A new Canadian study of 4.8 million people says a daily alcoholic drink isn't likely to send anyone to an early grave, nor will it offer any of the health benefits touted by previous studies, even if it is organic red wine.
MP Han Dong issues libel notice to Global News over China interference reporting
Lawyers representing Toronto MP Han Dong served Global News with a libel notice on Friday over reports that alleged he spoke to a Chinese diplomat in February 2021 about delaying the release of the two Michaels, and that he was a 'witting affiliate' of Chinese interference networks – allegations that Dong denies.
Here's what to expect from the Canadian cottage market this year
A recent report from Royal LePage is predicting a drop in prices for Canadian cabins and cottages this year as demand softens from economic uncertainty and low housing stock.
Interim RCMP commissioner would support Criminal Code changes for stricter gun laws
Interim RCMP commissioner Michael Duheme says he would support the Criminal Code changes recommended in the Mass Casualty Commission report to implement stricter gun laws.
Accused's mother testifies during second-degree murder trial
Chelsea Whitby notified her mom every time her son, Emerson, got a bump or bruise.
Sale of former Sask. government liquor store buildings begins
The sale has started of former Saskatchewan government liquor store buildings. The province got out of liquor retailing earlier this month and is disposing of all assets.
Sask. government offers pay bump for family doctors who work later hours
In an attempt to take pressure off hospital emergency rooms, the Saskatchewan government will offer a bump in pay for family doctors who work later hours.
'Waking up to a really bad dream': Manitoba communities mourn four teenagers killed in crash
Multiple Manitoba communities are in mourning following the deaths of four teenagers in a car crash involving a semi-truck on Wednesday.
Zellers to open in Winnipeg next week
The wait is finally over for Winnipeggers who have been wanting to see Zellers make a return to the city.
'I don't feel right paying that money': Winnipeg man fighting phone bill exceeding $3,000
A Winnipeg parent is fighting to have his child's phone bill lowered after it was 10 times higher than normal.
Motorcyclist killed in Macleod Trail crash
Emergency crews say a motorcyclist has died in a crash on Macleod Trail and it's suspected that speed was a factor in the incident.
Dangerous suspect has 50 warrants for his arrest, Calgary police say
Calgary police are warning the public about a man wanted on 50 warrants, including firearm and assault charges.
Homicide investigation closes Highway 552 northeast of Okotoks, Alta.
RCMP blocked off a highway southeast of Calgary on Thursday night as part of an investigation, which officials now confirm is connected to a homicide.
Harm reduction group alleges excessive force by Edmonton police officers
A local harm reduction group says force used by Edmonton police officers during a recent arrest on Whyte Avenue on Sunday was "appalling."
Edmonton man latest victim in string of violent events on Edmonton public transit
Some Edmonton commuters say they're scared to use public transit amid increasing acts of violence at LRT stations and bus stops around the city.
Police investigating shooting in north Edmonton
The Edmonton Police Service is investigating after gunfire was exchanged near a north Edmonton strip mall.
Should cars be allowed in High Park? Public debate comes to a head
Cherry blossom season is right around the corner – but will you be able to drive inside the park to see the blooms?
Uninsured patients denied scheduled C-sections unless they pay $6,000, midwife says
In one day, Ontario midwife Manavi Handa saw three patients who will have to pay thousands of dollars to be able to schedule a C-section beginning on Sunday.
Man arrested after allegedly chasing people with sharp object, yelling racial slurs at Kennedy Station
A 24-year-old Toronto man who police say chased people through Kennedy Station with a sharp object and shouted racial slurs has been arrested.
Akwesasne: Bodies of two more migrants found, bring total dead to eight
Police say the bodies of eight migrants have been retrieved from the waters off the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, straddling the Canada - U.S. border. The people whose bodies were recovered Thursday and Friday consisted of two families of Romanian and Indian origins who were likely trying to enter the U.S. illegally, police said Friday.
NEW THIS MORNING
NEW THIS MORNING | This Lanark County grocery store is reducing prices to fight food inflation
In the midst of record food inflation, one local grocery store in Lanark County is actually cutting prices.
Here's a look at eight things that will cost more in Ottawa starting April 1
CTVNewsOttawa.ca looks at eight things that will cost you more in Ottawa starting April 1.
Popular Othello Tunnels not expected to reopen this year
A major tourist attraction and historical landmark near Hope, B.C., remains closed more than 16 months after being damaged by floods.
Vancouver lawyer banned from financial markets for role in U.S. fraud
B.C.'s securities regulator has permanently banned a Vancouver lawyer from the financial markets after he was convicted in a U.S. court for his role in a US$34-million fraud.
No more paying for prescription birth control: B.C. to make Canadian history April 1
Paying for prescription birth control will be a thing of the past in British Columbia starting Saturday, marking a Canadian first.
Authorities work to identify 8 bodies pulled from St. Lawrence River this week
Akwesasne Mohawk Police say they are working with Immigration Canada and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to confirm the identities of the eight migrants whose bodies were pulled from the St. Lawrence River this week.
Father of Old Montreal fire victim launches $22M lawsuit
A father of one of the seven victims of the deadly Old Montreal fire is suing Airbnb and the owner of the building that burned down for $22 million.
April 1: New parking rules in Montreal as spring street cleaning begins
Montreal's seasonal parking restrictions go into effect Saturday. As of April 1, parking will be limited during certain hours to make way for street cleaning and maintenance operations. Drivers should pay close attention to street signs to determine when and where it's safe to park.
Video shows rare coastal wolf swimming in B.C. waters
A Vancouver Island woman managed to capture something on video last Sunday that experts say is extremely rare. Maxine Gillette calls it a once in a lifetime experience.
B.C. musician and former pastor sentenced for sexual assault
A Vancouver Island musician and former church pastor will serve three months of house arrest, followed by 18 months of probation, after he was convicted of one count of sexual assault.
B.C. residents to pay more for hydro starting April 1
British Columbia residents will pay an average of $2 more per month for hydro power starting Saturday.
'Impervious to change': doubt, disappointment after initial RCMP response to inquiry recommendations
After the RCMP commissioner admitted he didn't read the Mass Casualty Commission’s final recommendations, family members of those killed in the April 2020 tragedy say they have doubts the force will change.
N.S. doctor denies alleged negligence in case of woman who died after long ER wait
A doctor named in a lawsuit after a Nova Scotia woman died in hospital following a long wait to see a physician has denied allegations from the family that he failed in his duties.
'Nova Scotians' sense of safety was rocked': RCMP failures dominate inquiry's final report into 2020 mass shooting
A long list of failures by Nova Scotia RCMP leadership and policing systems dominate the final report into Nova Scotia's April 2020 mass shooting.
Northern Ont. man receives lifetime hunting ban, fined $5,000 for grouse stash
A northern Ontario man has been banned from licenced hunting and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to having more than six times the legal limit of grouse and obstructing conservation officers.
‘Nobody wants this’: Opposition grows to renaming Chippewa Secondary School
The plan to rename a North Bay high school is receiving tons of backlash online and has sparked outrage from some school alumni and the community.
Six arrested, 2.7 kilos cocaine seized in massive drug bust in Sudbury, GTA
Ontario's guns and gangs team says with the help of police in Sudbury and Durham, it has disrupted a large drug trafficking operation, seizing 2.7 kilograms of cocaine and arresting six.
Police attended reported shooting in central London, Ont., one person sent to hospital
London police responded to Dundas Street, just west of William Street around 6:30 p.m. Friday evening for a reported shooting. According to police, one person is in custody.
U.S. citizen charged with death threats targeting Justin Trudeau makes court appearance from London, Ont.
A U.S. citizen charged with threatening death or bodily harm to Justin Trudeau made a virtual court appearance from a London jail Friday. Jeremy Joseph, 40 — who is living in Sarnia, Ont. — was arrested on Feb. 4, 2023 after Sarnia police were notified of emails containing threats.
Man injured while fleeing police on Highway 401, SIU investigating
The province’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating after a man was seriously injured while attempting to flee from OPP on Highway 401 Thursday afternoon.