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Tag: Prairie College

Black Collar Crime: Derek Taplin Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen Boys Under His Care at Prairie College

derek taplin

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

Derek Taplin, an Evangelical man who attended Prairie College (formerly Prairie Bible Institute) in Canada, stands accused of sexually assaulting teen boys under his care while he was a student.

The Calgary Herald reports:

A one-time student union president at a central Alberta Bible college has been charged with multiple sexual assaults at the school, alleged crimes dating back two decades.

Acting on a Canada-wide warrant, Winnipeg police on Tuesday arrested Derek Taplin, 43, who has been charged with sexually assaulting younger non-college students under his guidance while the accused attended Prairie College in Three Hills from 2002 to 2004.

At the time he attended the college, he was also a youth group leader, said RCMP.

“He was in charge of youth groups . . . (the alleged assaults happened) in all those scenarios,” said Sgt. Jamie Day of the Three Hills RCMP detachment.

On June 10, 2021, a man came forward to report he’d been sexually assaulted by Taplin when the accused attended the college in the town 134 kilometres northeast of Calgary, said Day.

Soon after that, three other men reported similar crimes, said the Mountie, adding it’s possible there are other unknown victims of Taplin.

“If someone’s out there, struggling and wants to tell their story, we’re here to help them,” said Day.

Day said some of the assaults occurred on the campus of the college, whose website says its educational programs are “all soaked — not sprinkled — with the Bible.”

“There were multiple assaults on each (victim),” Day said.

“They could have also happened in private settings, it didn’t have to happen on a (college) outing.”

Taplin was not employed by the college at the time of the alleged assaults, said RCMP.

All the victims at the time were classified as youths, he said, and one source said they were junior high students and not college attendees.

The accused was a student at the college from 2001 to 2004 and was president of the student union until he was banished from the role “because he wasn’t a model citizen but it had nothing to do with these alleged sexual assaults,” said college President Mark Maxwell.


The complexity, logistics and age of the alleged crimes explains why charges were laid nearly two years after the first complaint, said Day. Some of the victims and witnesses no longer live in Alberta “and we’ve had to confirm a lot of information and a lot of background,” he said.

Taplin is charged with four counts each of sexual exploitation of a young person, sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

He’s in the process of being returned to Alberta, said RCMP, where he’ll make a yet-to-be scheduled court appearance in a venue with close proximity to Three Hills.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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Bruce Gerencser