Teacher avoids jail for student relationship

The friendship between teacher and student grew into an infatuation ona European high school trip in March 2006. But Leslie Merlino, then 36,knew she was entering career-ending waters.

The friendship between teacher and student grew into an infatuation on a European high school trip in March 2006. But Leslie Merlino, then 36, knew she was entering career-ending waters.

By late summer of 2007, the suspended teacher and former student had become lovers. In October 2007, despite a court order, Merlino took her young female lover, then 18, to Quebec City.

Today, Merlino, 39, is living with her mother in London, where she is unemployed with no chance of ever teaching again. But there is nothing to stop her from being with her former student.

Merlino avoided jail yesterday, but was placed on the Ontario sex registry for 20 years and ordered to submit her DNA to the national databank. She received a suspended sentence with a 12-month probation after pleading guilty in a Brampton courtroom to three charges.

 
 
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