City police have charged a 49-year-old Edmonton man with sexual assault and exploitation of a teen girl dating back to the early 2000s when he was a local drama teacher and actor.
Police said in a Tuesday news release the man, who was in his mid-30s at the time, allegedly “initiated a relationship” with and sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl multiple times between March 2006 and September 2007. Officers arrested and charged him “without incident” on Tuesday. The investigation into the historic assaults began in August.
Patrick Charles Howarth was contracted as an actor and “fight captain” at the Citadel Theatre from March until June of 2006, and he held an instructional role in the University of Alberta’s drama department from January to March 2007, police said.
Edmonton Police Services released Howarth’s photo due to investigators believing there may be additional complainants.
Anyone with information or complaints is asked to contact local police or leave an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers.
Deeply dismayed: U of A
Wendy Rodgers, the U of A’s deputy provost, said in a media release the university is “deeply dismayed” by the news and condemns all sexual violence.
“We have to create a community of consent. The U of A is committed to providing and fostering a safe, supportive and respectful environment in which to live, learn and work. We have taken steps to ensure the safety of our students and community. We are working closely with the Edmonton Police Service as they continue to investigate. The U of A will also be reviewing this matter and our protocols for any areas where we can learn and improve,” reads the statement.
Rodgers said “our hearts go out to all survivors and their support networks” and that the U of A is “striving to better support survivors and strengthen the culture of consent and care on our campuses and within our community.”
She said the school has been working on support, education and reporting programs and policies around sexual violence and consent.