Teacher cleared of sex charges unsure of future
The Morinville, Alta., teacher acquitted of sexual assault of two students has been offered his teaching job back.
On Tuesday, the Greater St. Albert Catholic School Board decided to allow Michael Dubas to teach again after a provincial court judge last month found the 55-year-old not guilty of two charges each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation.
"I have to conclusively say that the allegations of any professional misconduct on behalf of Mr. Dubas are unfounded," said David Keohane, the superintendent of the St. Albert Catholic School board.
Dubas isn't sure if he will return to teaching. He must deal with some health issues, including a stroke in May and the partial loss of vision in his right eye, before deciding whether he wants to teach again.
Dubas also believes some people in the town about 30 kilometres northwest of Edmonton don't think he's innocent, despite his acquittal.
"When you've done nothing wrong and you've been charged with something, to start your life normal again is very, very difficult," Dubas said.
"I'm hoping that I'll be able to get over this ...and someday be able to do that," he said. "But at this point in time I don't know. I don't know why it ever happened. It just seemed like it was surreal, and right now, I'm just trying to get my life back."
Girls plotted to get Dubas fired, court told
The charges stemmed from two separate incidents involving two female students at G.H. Primeau Middle School which were alleged to have occurred in 2009.
The girls, who cannot be identified under a publication ban, had alleged that Dubas groped them on two different occasions in February and October of that year.
In delivering his decision in St. Albert provincial court on Sept. 17, Judge Brian Fraser said he believed Dubas when he denied touching the girls.
The judge said the testimony of one of the girls was unreliable and said surveillance video showing the hallway at the time she said she was groped showed no evidence of an attack.
Fraser also found the actions of the other complainant did not fit with someone who had been molested.
During the trial, students who were witnesses for the defence testified they overheard the girls talking about a plan to lie about how Dubas touched them in order to get him fired.
Dubas was suspended from his teaching position at the school last year, pending the outcome of his trial.