Nova Scotia

Former N.S. tennis coach found guilty of sexual offences involving teen

A jury in Kentville, N.S., has found a former tennis coach guilty of sexual offences involving a teenager. The sentencing of Aaron Byron Cumberland is expected to take place in early December.

Sentencing of Aaron Byron Cumberland set for early December

Aaron Byron Cumberland, a former tennis coach, has been found guilty of sexual offences involving a teenager. (RCMP)

A jury in Kentville, N.S., has found a former tennis coach guilty of sexual offences involving a teenager.

The case centred around Facebook messages Aaron Byron Cumberland sent to a 15-year-old boy. 

The victim's parents testified about the content of those messages in court.

"It included observations from the parents of explicit photographs being sent to the victim, and also an invitation of an explicit nature inviting sexual contact with the young person," said Peter Dostal, a Crown attorney in the special prosecutions section of the Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service.

This was the 29-year-old's third trial on the charges. The first trial ended in a mistrial; the second with a hung jury. 

But after a week of testimony and days of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict on charges of luring a child, making sexually explicit material available to a child, and invitation to sexual touching.

While he was awaiting trial in May of 2018, Cumberland was caught after illegally entering Maine on foot along a road that's not a designated entry point to the U.S.

An American border control official said Cumberland and two other men were carrying backpacks when they were stopped. 

A fingerprint check showed Cumberland was facing charges in Nova Scotia. 

A year in custody

Cumberland spent a year in jail awaiting trial. 

Dostal said the amount of pretrial custody will come into play at sentencing. 

"The offences are serious enough that it would at least be a considerable amount of jail time," Dostal said. 

"The question we need to answer at this time is whether his time in custody up until this point comes close to the amount of jail sentence you would get."

Dostal said he expects a sentence will come with a period of probation and inclusion in the sex offender registry. 

The sentencing hearing is set for early December at Supreme Court in Kentville. 

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