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Teacher gets jail time for sex crime

A teacher who was caught in bed with a 17-year-old former student has been sentenced to four months in jail.

But the offender has suffered more than any sentence the court could impose, says her lawyer.

She has been disgraced, now has limited contact with her own children and her teaching career is likely over.

"She has lost her job, she is not teaching and she will not be able to teach, I would say, ever again," defence lawyer Josh Weinstein said.

Judge Donovan Dvorak sentenced the woman on Tuesday in provincial court.

She and the small community where the offence was committed can’t be named due to a publication ban.

In December, she pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation for attempting to have sex with a youth. She was 38 years old at the time and the boy was 17 years old.

At the time the woman entered her plea, court heard that her husband caught her in bed with her former pupil on Aug. 27, 2011.

The boy was staying overnight at the home of the offender and her family when they tried to have sex.

The husband burst in on his wife and the boy to find them in bed together.

Weinstein later clarified that there had been sexual touching, of a sort, but no oral sex and no sexual intercourse.

The woman was a teacher at the time and had worked at a Westman high school.

She’d been the victim’s resource teacher and respite worker at one point.

However, she was not the teen’s teacher or worker at the time of the offence.

Nevertheless, their "romantic" relationship, as the victim once put it, had evolved from a teacher and student relationship.

That placed the woman in a position of trust over the boy, and it’s on that basis that she pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation.

After her arrest, she was released on conditions to have no contact or communication with the teen.

However, police later caught her with the victim when they pulled over a vehicle in the RM of Headingley on March 28, 2012.

As a result, the woman also pleaded guilty to that offence and sentencing was set for Tuesday to allow preparation of a pre-sentence report.

The sexual exploitation charge carries a mandatory minimum jail term of 14 days.

Crown attorney Marycia Kruk pointed to the no-contact breach and asked the judge to impose six months in jail while Weinstein asked for four months.

He said his client, a mother of three children, pursued the teen because she was unhappy in her marriage.

It appears her offence has also had an impact on her family — Weinstein indicated that the woman’s ex-husband has care and control of the children and determines when she has access.

The victim is now 18 years old, but Weinstein said his 40-year-old client is not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with the man, who has since moved away from the area.

Dvorak made it clear to the accused that her relationship was more than merely inappropriate.

"Make no mistake … it’s criminal conduct. I’m sure you are aware of that now," he said.

Describing the circumstances as unusual, Dvorak sentenced the former teacher to four months in jail followed by two years probation.

Even though Weinstein said his client’s sexual attraction was for this teen in particular — not for children in general — while on probation she’s not to be in a position of authority or trust over anyone under 18 years old.

That restriction doesn’t apply to her own kids, however, and not to children whose guardian has given consent.

She’s also to take sex offender counselling and her name will be on the national sex offender registry for 10 years.

In addition, she received six to seven days time served for having contact with the victim when she wasn’t supposed to.

» ihitchen@brandonsun.com

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 20, 2013

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A teacher who was caught in bed with a 17-year-old former student has been sentenced to four months in jail.

But the offender has suffered more than any sentence the court could impose, says her lawyer.

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A teacher who was caught in bed with a 17-year-old former student has been sentenced to four months in jail.

But the offender has suffered more than any sentence the court could impose, says her lawyer.

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