Toronto Star

Sep. 12, 05:44 EDT

Teacher charged with sex assault

Woman allegedly had affair with 17-year-old student

Bob Mitchell
PEEL/HALTON BUREAU CHIEF
Toronto Star

A Mississauga teacher is facing sex charges after allegations that she had an affair with a 17-year-old male student.

Their relationship, which allegedly took place for at least the last five months of the 2001-02 school year, ended when the teenager's parents discovered the sexual liaison, police said.

The 31-year-old woman taught at the Mississauga Private School in Toronto, where the youth was a student.

Peel Region police are releasing few details about the alleged relationship or the charges, except to say that the woman turned herself in to police on Tuesday night. She was released on her own recognizance.

None of the alleged incidents occurred at the youth's home, police said. They aren't revealing where he lives to protect his identity.

Detective Sergeant Dave Downer of Peel's child abuse and sexual assault bureau wouldn't reveal whether any of the alleged encounters occurred at the woman's own residence or how many sexual liaisons took place between February and June of this year.

"The parents found out about what was going on," Downer said. "They were the instigators (in the investigation)."

Officials at the school on Barrhead Cres., near Kipling Ave. and Rexdale Blvd., refused to comment on the matter, other than to release a prepared statement indicating the teacher no longer works at the school.

Although the woman's picture has been removed from the school's Web site faculty list, she is still included on the staff list as being a guidance, English and dramatic arts teacher.

"When allegations of professional misconduct were made to the school's administration, we acted promptly in investigating such allegations," vice-principal Paul Edwards said in the statement.

"We have worked closely with the parents and with the authorities in investigating this matter.

"The school remains committed to providing a safe and secure environment for all of its students."

Police said the teacher knew the student prior to the alleged encounters but wouldn't reveal whether she taught him. No other students are involved in the case, investigators said.

School officials refused to provide information about the facility, but its Web site indicates that about 400 students are enrolled from kindergarten to OAC.

A person can legally have sex in Canada once they reach the age of 14. But Downer said charges were laid in this case because the accused was in a "position of authority."

Charged with sexual exploitation and sexual assault is Elizabeth Ann Carter, 31. She's to appear in a Brampton court on Oct. 21.

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