Cape Breton teacher facing sex charges involving former student

A high school teacher in Cape Breton has been released from custody on five sex-related charges involving a former student.

Lawrence Summerell of Reserve Mines is charged with sexual assault, child luring, and sexual exploitation

Lawrence Summerell, a teacher at Memorial High School in Sydney Mines, is charged with sex offences involving a former student. (Google Maps)

A high school teacher in Cape Breton has been released from custody on five sex-related charges involving a former student.

Lawrence Summerell, 51, is a teacher at Memorial High School in Sydney Mines.

The Reserve Mines man faces two charges of sexual assault, two of luring a child under the age of 18, and one of sexual exploitation.

The charges relate to alleged incidents between January and June of 2017. 

The Crown originally opposed Summerell's release.

Defence attorney Joel Pink says he and the Crown came to an agreement regarding his client's release. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

But during a brief court appearance in Sydney, Summerell's lawyer, Joel Pink, said he and the Crown had agreed on the terms of release.

They include that he not have any contact with the complainant or her family; that he not have any contact with a person under the age of 18, with the exception of family; that he not attend a park or school ground, or anywhere where persons under the age of 18 might be present; and that he not use a computer or any other electronic device, or access the internet.

He must also allow police to conduct random searches at his home.

In court, Summerell, dressed in a striped, collared T-shirt and jeans, indicated that he understood the conditions and would abide by them.

He returns to court Oct. 3 to enter a plea.

Crown attorney Steve Melnick says he doesn't believe parents or students at Memorial High School need to be concerned at this point. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

Crown attorney Steve Melnick told reporters outside court he doesn't believe parents or students at Memorial High School need to be worried.

"I think the appropriate steps have been taken, charges have been laid, terms have been dealt with, " said Melnick.

"The school board is looking after it from what I understand, so I don't think there's any concern to parents at this point, or the children in the school, for that matter."

The Cape Breton Victoria Regional Centre for Education reached out to parents Tuesday by text and email, saying that an employee of Memorial High was facing criminal charges.

"We want to inform you the employee is not at work," the message read.

Officials did not identify Summerell or reveal the nature of the charges in the message.

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About the Author

Wendy Martin

Reporter

Wendy Martin has been a reporter for nearly 30 years. Her first job in radio was at the age of three, on a show called Wendy's House on CFCB Radio in Corner Brook, N.L. Get in touch at wendy.martin@cbc.ca