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Winnipeg football coach who pleaded guilty to sexual assault facing up to 25 years in prison

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A disgraced former Winnipeg football coach who pleaded guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault last year could face up to 25 years in prison.

Kelsey Albert Dana McKay pleaded guilty in July 2023 to nine counts of sexual assault and two counts of luring.

Victim impact statements were read in court on Tuesday, with many saying they struggled with mental health, substance abuse and suicide. A publication ban on the identity of the victims is in effect.

“I feel the effects of what has happened still this present day,” one of the victims said on the stand, noting they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and depression.

“It is a constant battle to manage myself emotionally, on a day-to-day basis.”

The victim later added, “Nobody who has harmed a child ever deserves to be forgiven.

“This man does not have control over me anymore. He will never harm another young man, and that’s all I can ask,” the victim said.

McKay, who was a prominent figure in the city’s football community, coached football and taught physical education at Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate for two decades.

Court was told McKay had considerable power in the school community, and would befriend many of his victims, taking them to lunch or buying them Slurpees. He was described as a "father figure" to many of his victims.

The statement of facts said McKay would invite victims to his home, where they would watch football or movies. Sexual assaults occurred on multiple occasions.

The victims ranged in age from 13 to 18 when the assaults occurred.

Forensic psychologist Dr. Jonathan Rootenberg assessed McKay, finding he was at a low risk to reoffend violently, but at an average risk to reoffend sexually.

The Crown is asking for 25 years in prison for McKay.

"This reflects the enormous harm that comes from the relentless sexual exploitation and abuse of nine children, perpetrated by the trusted coach and teacher," the crown prosecutor told the court.

The sentencing hearing continues Wednesday.

With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks

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