A former youth badminton coach accused in a series of disturbing sexual assaults faces 23 charges relating to sex assaults of young boys that took place decades ago, police say.

Harry Charles Sadd, 70, was first arrested in August 2016 after an alleged victim came forward, claiming Sadd assaulted him as a boy a number of times from 1978 to 1983.

Victoria police said at the time they believed there were more victims and asked them to come forward.

On Wednesday, police announced 23 charges against Sadd, saying 12 additional victims have since come forward to speak to investigators.

“We’ve spent the last 10 months investigating and interviewing,” said Sgt. Kristi Ross, who heads up the department’s Special Victims Unit.

She said all of the victims are men who came forward, and most were between 9 and 15 years old around the time the offences occurred. Some of the assaults date back to the late 60s, she said.

“A lot of these men have experienced guilt, shame, embarrassment, and many of them had never ever told anyone in their life that this had happened to them,” said Ross. “This has been a real emotional rollercoaster for a lot of these victims.”

Sadd gained access to the boys through his involvement in a “variety” of activities, according to police.

“He was a former teacher, badminton coach, he employed some youth at times in his company, and he was heavily involved in the church, so it really depended on the particular victim, how he knew him,” said Ross.

Even though it’s now decades later, Ross said the trauma of the assaults will stay with the victims forever.

“That’s probably been the most difficult part of this whole investigation for them and for the investigators, is there’s just so much raw emotion still with these men and it doesn’t just go away, you don’t just get over these things,” she said.

Sadd remains in custody and made an appearance in court Wednesday.

He faces charges include eight counts of sex assault, six counts of indecent assault of another male, three counts of gross indecency, four counts of buggery or bestiality, two counts of assault with intent to commit buggery or indecent assault on a male.

Some of the charges only existed at the time of the alleged offences and no longer have the same name under the Canada Criminal Code.

He also faces two new charges after allegedly breaking court-ordered conditions following his initial arrest last summer.

Sadd was ordered not to attend public places where people under 18 may gather, and was told not to contact any victims named in the case. Police say he broke both conditions.

Police believe there are more victims out there and hopes they’ll come forward to share their stories.

They’re asking any other potential victims to come forward by calling 250-995-7654, the Men’s Trauma Centre at 250-381-6367 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.