Ottawa

Former high school music teacher facing new charges

A former Ottawa music teacher is facing two new charges for alleged sex crimes stemming from his days at Bell High School in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bob Clarke, 74, charged with gross indecency, indecent assault following complaint from former student

Bob Clarke is currently serving a two year sentence in federal prison. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod )

A former Ottawa music teacher is facing two new charges for alleged sex crimes stemming from his days at Bell High School in the 1970s and 1980s.

Bob Clarke, 74, was charged earlier this week with gross indecency and indecent assault against a former student. He appeared in court Friday.

Clarke pleaded guilty in March to charges of sexual assault and gross indecency involving eight former students. Clarke inappropriately touched, propositioned or sexually assaulted several teenage boys in the classroom, on band trips and outside school. He is currently serving two years in prison.

The latest alleged victim contacted police and CBC in late November after a CBC investigation provided new details about historical sexual abuse at Ottawa high schools.

Clarke taught music at Ottawa Technical, Bell High School and Sir Robert Borden High School in what's now the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board between 1970 and 1992.

Due to a court-imposed publication ban the alleged victim cannot be named, but he told CBC he was in Clarke's music classes and various band ensembles between 1977 and 1981.

Alleged victim told administrators

"A friend of mine sent me the article," said the alleged victim, now 55. "It was something I was powerless to do anything about. The people I felt I could talk to just didn't take it seriously."

The man said he confided in a vice-principal and a teacher at Bell at the time of the alleged abuse.

Clarke was pushed out of teaching in 1992 due to inappropriate sexual behaviour toward students, according to court documents. Police were not notified by board officials at the time.

Clarke's parole board hearing earlier this month was postponed after a separate charge of gross indecency was laid in October

Both Clarke and the school board are currently being sued by former students who allege abuse and negligence in the 1970s and 80s.

He's expected to be back in court on Dec. 28. 

About the Author

Julie Ireton

Senior Reporter

Julie Ireton is a senior reporter who works on investigations and enterprise news features at CBC Ottawa. She's also the host of the new CBC investigative podcast, The Band Played On. You can reach her at julie.ireton@cbc.ca