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School waits weeks before calling police about alleged sex offences by teacher

Teacher convicted of having sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student

OTTAWA — Officials at an Ottawa high school waited three weeks before alerting police a teacher had been accused of sexually exploiting one of his students, a judge heard Friday.

Prosecutors say a teachers’ union representative discouraged school administrators from telling cops the 39-year-old educator, who was also a coach, had admitted to having had sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student.

The teacher was charged in June 2008 with sexual exploitation related to incidents that occurred between January and April 2008. After pleading guilty to the charge, he was convicted Friday.

A publication ban prohibits reporting the teacher’s name or name of the school, because that could identify the victim.

The victim’s parents found out about the sexual contact on May 14, 2008, after the girl’s sister discovered sexually explicit e-mails between the victim and the teacher on a computer in the family’s home.

The woman said her daughter begged her not to call police, a promise the woman said she made because she wanted to maintain her daughter’s trust.

She said she was also certain school officials, whom she and her husband planned to meet to tell them about the e-mails, would contact authorities.

Instead, court heard, school officials spent three weeks interviewing various witnesses before finally terminating the teacher on June 4, 2008.

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