Calgary Catholic School Teacher Arrested for Sexual Relationship with StudenT
Calgary, Alberta – Jennifer Mason, age 30, was an instructor at Our Lady of the Assumption Elementary School and has now been placed on administrative suspension pending the outcome of an investigation that she had a 15-month sexual relationship with a former student who was age 15 at the time the when the alleged crimes began in August, 2012. The whole sordid relationship came to light this past November when a person reported to police that a teenage boy and a woman were involved in “inappropriate interaction” in a car parked on the northeast side of Calgary.
The boy’s identity remains confidential because he is a minor. He turned 16 during the course of his relationship with the instructor.
Canadian law sets the age for sexual consent at 16, but there is a caveat in that the adult cannot have been in a position of trust with the minor such as a sports coach or instructor.
Ms. Mason now faces the following serious charges:
- Sexual Assault of a minor
- Sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust
- Sexual interference of a minor
- Invitation to sexual touching
Mason is also barred from having contact with anyone under 16 who is not a relative and must stay away from areas where children are likely present.
Those include schools, playgrounds, recreation centres and swimming pools.
According to police, Mason was arrested without incident.
“The teacher has been co-operative,”said Staff Sgt. Kelly Campbell. “As have the school board, the witness and the victim.”
In an effort to protect the identity of the victim, the details of the school are not being released at this time. However, parents at the school will be notified by the appropriate school board, according to authorities. Counseling services will also be offered to staff and students next week.
The school has issued an apology to all parents for the incident as it has brought disgrace upon the school.
“We’re saddened, shocked, disappointed to hear this news,” said Tania Younker, school district spokeswoman . “The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority and certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved.”
Tania Younker, a spokeswoman for the Calgary Catholic School Boardsaid the teacher has been suspended from her position pending the outcome of the case.
“Immediately upon finding out a few months back that an investigation was underway, the teacher was put on unassigned duties and removed from the school,” she said.
“After a parallel, internal investigation by Calgary Catholic, she was suspended.”
Police do not believe there are any other victims in relation to this case.
She is scheduled to return to court on Feb. 28, but if she hires a lawyer by then and signs a designation of counsel form she won’t have to attend in person.
According to the school board, counseling services will be available at the school next week for those students and teachers who need it.
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