The lawyer for a female junior high school teacher, who had been charged with sexual assault and sexual interference against a 15-year-old male student, says his client was “tearful, so happy and so relieved” when the Crown stayed the charges this week.
However, Jim Lutz added Thursday that there is a broader implication of the charges being laid in the first place: her employment, which was at Rideau Park School until the allegations were made.
“There is a public perception of the charges now being dealt with,” said Lutz. “There is a rush to judgment, which is always something that worries any accused person in these cases. This is no exception to that.”
Prosecutor Susan Kennedy directed in a letter to the clerk of the court, dated Sept. 2, that the charges would not be proceeding against the teacher and are stayed. No reasons were given for the decision.
The teacher, who was charged in December 2012, had faced a judge and jury trial starting Sept. 14 at Court of Queen’s Bench.
The teacher, who is in her 40s, had been called “excellent” and “talented” by the president of the school council after she was charged. The president said at the time no matter the outcome of the case, her good work should not be forgotten.
Police accused her of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy for a year. They refused to identify her and a ban on publication by the courts protected her identity from being published.
The Calgary Board of Education said at the time the teacher was suspended with pay. They did not immediately provide any comment on the case.
Rumours had circulated through the Rideau Park School community about the allegations. Some parents had hoped the allegations are not true and were sticking to the rule of innocent until proven guilty.