Ottawa

Ashbury College teachers appeal misconduct verdict in sex assault case

Two teachers from Ashbury College have filed an appeal after they were found guilty of professional misconduct in connection to their handling of a 2007 student sexual assault case.

Alyssa Novick, Ian Middleton improperly handled student sex assault, panel found

Ashbury College, first opened in 1891, holds several school trips outside of Canada.

Two Ottawa private school teachers have filed an appeal after they were found guilty of professional misconduct in connection to a 2007 student sexual assault case.

Alyssa Novick and Ian Middleton were found guilty in March 2014 after an Ontario College of Teachers disciplinary panel decided the pair did not properly handle a sexual assault incident during a school trip to Boston, Mass., in 2007.

The sexual assault involved three students pinning a victim to his bed, while another sexually assaulted him and a fifth allegedly videotaped the attack.

Two students pleaded guilty to assault and battery in a Massachusetts court connected to the incident. One was convicted as an adult and the other as a juvenile.

In November of this year, Novick and Middleton were told to take a course, at their own expense, on ethical standards and reporting obligations.

However, the teachers decided to appeal the guilty decision to the Ontario Divisional Court on Dec. 11. That means the guilty verdict and penalty are stayed until the appeal process is finished.

Victim's parents called police first, panel found

A 238-page decision was released in July regarding the school trip incident. It found that the victim's parents were the first to make contact with Boston Police, from Ottawa, about 20 hours after the incident took place on Nov. 16, 2007.

The school has defended its teachers throughout the legal process, saying they handled the incident in a professional manner, co-operating fully with police.

The victim's family had launched a lawsuit against the school, then-headmaster Tam Matthews and the four teachers leading the school trip. That case was settled earlier this year, but details could not be released.

Ashbury College is a private school that is co-ed for Grades 4 to 12. The school was founded in 1891 and sits in Ottawa's Rockcliffe neighbourhood, east of downtown.

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