A man who once lived in this province has been sentenced to nine months’ jail time for sexually assaulting an 18-year-old male student in Alberta in 2004.
Harvey Klok moved to Baine Harbour in 2007 and had hopes of starting an art school on the Burin Peninsula before he was charged with the crime, to which he pleaded guilty.
Court documents say Klok taught English and technology courses at a high school in Edmonton and began teaching the young man he sexually assaulted when he was in Grade 10.
Klok apparently took an interest in the student because the teen had an interest in and talent for the arts.
The documents say the young man confided in Klok, considered him a friend and mentor, and discussed spirituality, life, and psychology with him. The student started to share confidential information with Klok, including reluctantly admitting he felt addicted to pornography after Klok asked him if he struggled with such issues.
Klok told the student he had experience with addictions and suggested they participate together in a 12-step program for the teenager’s porn addiction. Klok then proceeded to take the teenager through a series of 12 steps that he said required establishing trust with each other and admitting to the addiction. Klok also said that touching each other was necessary for healing as it established love. As the sessions continued, the touching escalated and eventually lead to Klok masturbating the young man and vice versa.
Klok told the student that while what he had done was wrong, there was little chance of the teen having success in court if he prosecuted Klok. Klok even paid for psychological treatment for the teenager during which the psychologist encouraged the teenager to forgive him. The teenager did carry on a friendship with Klok for some time after and even visited him in Newfoundland. He eventually joined a support group in British Columbia and complained to the Vancouver City Police. That complaint led to the charge of sexual assault.
Victim-impact statements read by the man and his mother described the result of Klok’s actions on the then teenager as severe. The young man struggled with depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, suicidal thoughts, and an inability to form loving relationships. He did not successfully complete Grade 12. He has been unable to hold full-time employment. His parents have given him money to supplement his income. Much of the income he receives is spent on therapy sessions.
Although he was 18 at the time of the incident the court took into account the manipulation involved and also the fact that the man had been forming a relationship with Klok — his teacher and trusted adviser — for several years when he was younger.
The court did take Klok’s guilty plea and noted his remorse in his actions into account when sentencing him to nine months.