Teacher's sexual exploitation trial wraps
The trial of a Prince Albert teacher accused of having a sexual relationship with a student 18 years ago has concluded. The jury hearing the case is expected to begin deliberations Friday.
Bonnie McLachlan, 52, is accused of sexual exploitation for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old student.
During the week-long trial the jury heard several witnesses, including the alleged victim, now 33, talk about a relationship between the student and teacher.
The jury heard that McLachlan befriended the student and it developed into a sexual relationship that lasted months.
McLachlan testified that the allegations were not true, and said she never had sex with the student.
Defence lawyer Peter Abrametz suggested some of what the jury heard may have simply been gossip.
"With a story, sometimes it's all true, sometimes it's false and sometimes there's a grain of truth to them," he said during final arguments Thursday. "When coming to a decision on what is true or false, it matters whether information is vague or specific or detailed," he added.
Abrametz reminded the jury of the testimony of one witness, a former friend of the alleged victim, who said the man spoke about blackmailing McLachlan.
Crown prosecutor Jennifer Claxton-Viczko told the jury to judge the case based on the facts and not on whether or not McLachlan was a good teacher.
"It's not a question of whether she was a good teacher," Claxton-Viczko said. "It's a question of did she engage in a sexual relationship with the alleged victim?"
She also urged the jury to consider the role a teacher is expected to play.
"Teachers have a responsibility towards their students," she said. "Parents don't expect their children's teachers to have sex with students. They expect them to take care of them, and make sure they're safe."