A man who was on trial for allegedly molesting eight teenage boys, while he was employed with the Young Canadians, has pleaded guilty to 8 of 20 sexual abuse charges.

Philip Heerema, 55, faced 20 charges including sexual assault, sexual exploitation, child pornography and luring.

One of the charges dates back to 1992 and the rest reportedly happened between 2005 and 2014.

Heerema worked for the Calgary performance group for over 30 years and was charged in June of 2015.

He resigned from his position as a business administrator when the allegations surfaced.

Eight victims were identified by police and all were between the ages of 15 and 18 when the offences allegedly occurred.

Heerema’s trial began on January 15th and the prosecution alleged that he used his position of trust to commit sexual offences against young people who were students of the performing arts group.

Court has heard from several men over the last few weeks who said Heerema convinced them to send him explicit photos.

In a police interview that was played in court, Heerema admitted that he was in a position of authority and said “These people I came to know, came to appreciate in my life, came to me and opened up about questions and concerns who I felt I could open up to as well and as you say I crossed the line.”

On Tuesday, Heerema pleaded guilty to 8 of the 20 charges that involved six of the victims.

The remaining 12 charges in the case were stayed and the defence is now asking for a psychiatric assessment before sentencing.