Mother of alleged victim testifies at teacher sex assault trial
Trial now adjourned for six months
The mother of a teenage boy who allegedly had an affair with a high school gym teacher said she felt Tania Pontbriand was trying to take her son away.
The woman took the stand in a St-Jerome court room Thursday and said that she trusted Pontbriand, now accused of sexually assaulting her son, because she was a teacher.
The mother– who cannot be named because it would identify her son, who was a minor at the time of the alleged assault – said she thought Pontbriand was coming by their home and calling the 15-year-old because she was acting as a mentor.
Pontbriand was charged with sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation after a student reported to authorities that he had more than 200 sexual encounters with the former Rosemere high school teacher, who was more than twice his age, between 2002 and 2004.
Pontbriand has pleaded not guilty.
The mother of the alleged victim was the final witness to be called before the trial adjourns for more than six months, in part because one of the accused’s lawyers is expecting a baby.
She testified that initially she had no problem with the frequent contact between the teacher and her son.
That changed, she said, when her son announced that the teacher was his best friend.
The two went on hiking and camping trips as well as getaways to Toronto.
The mother said she tried to stop them, but it only led to fights with her son.
She testified that once on a trip to Florida, the teenager picked out underwear he said Pontbriand had asked him to buy for her.
The mother said things continued to deteriorate and she came to hate Pontbriand. She felt the teacher was trying to come between her and her son.
She asked the principal at the school to keep Pontbriand and her son apart as much as possible.
She didn’t file a complaint, the woman told the court, because it would have driven her son away completely.