Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Being in bed with ex-pupil nets jail time

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BRANDON -- 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's been disgraced, has limited contact with her own children and her 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 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 at the time and the boy was 17.

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

The boy was staying overnight at their home when they tried to have sex. The husband burst in on his wife and the boy to find them in bed.

Weinstein later clarified there had been sexual touching, but 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 teen, and it's on that basis she pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation.

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

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.

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

Weinstein said his client, a mother of three children, pursued the teen because she was unhappy in her marriage. Her ex-husband has care of the children and determines when she sees them.

The victim is now 18 years old, but Weinstein said his client is not interested in pursuing a relationship with him.


-- Brandon Sun

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 20, 2013 A4

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