'Who is it protecting?': father questions publication ban on Toronto teacher jailed for sex offences

His daughter had the courage to come forward, so a Toronto father says the courts shouldn't be keeping secrets either. CBC Toronto can’t tell you his name or his daughter’s name.

A court order protects the identity of the teacher and the private school where he worked

The father of one of the victims of a Toronto private school teacher appeared on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning on Wednesday. He cannot be identified in order to protect his daughter's identity. (CBC)

His daughter had the courage to come forward, so a Toronto father wonders why the courts are keeping secrets.

CBC Toronto can't tell you his name or his daughter's name.

That much, at least, is standard in cases like this one, which involves sex-offences and young victims. It is common — and with good reason — for a victim's identity to be tightly guarded from the public.

But the father is speaking out about what he calls the "overreaching" publication ban that also means we can't tell you the name of the teacher who sexually exploited his daughter and another student, or the Toronto private school where he taught.

"They're going to be hidden, the school and this convicted sex offender, behind the ban," said the father, who spoke publicly for the first time in an interview on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning on Wednesday.

"There are parents whose children are [at the school] today who don't know about this," the father told Metro Morning host Matt Galloway.

Teacher pleaded guilty

The 43-year-old teacher pleaded guilty to sexual interference, sexual exploitation and making child pornography in March. Last week, he was sentenced to two years less a day in jail to be followed by three years of probation.

At a pretrial hearing last February, Justice James Chaffe ruled that identifying the teacher or the school could allow the public to "connect the dots" and identify the victims.

CBC Toronto and the Globe and Mail challenged the order in March, arguing that it was too broad and unnecessary to protect the identity of the girls. It was upheld.

"Who is it protecting?" the father asked in the interview. " Is it protecting the school and this convicted sex offender or is it protecting the victims?"

While he feels some sense of justice with the teacher's prosecution, the father is not happy with how the situation was handled by the school.

"It's going to be hell in jail for him. I'm very sympathetic towards his wife and children and what they had to endure. And then I go back to the school and they got off scot-free. They got a freebie. We're not able to mention their brand. We're not able to mention anything about the school," the father said.

Daughter still struggles

His daughter was the first victim to accuse the teacher. "At that stage it would have been her word against his word," the father said.

But, after that, he said the the second girl came forward and Toronto police were involved.

The investigation and prosecution was hard on his daughter and the family, the father said.

"She's been in extensive therapy for this for a long period of time. She carried this with her for six or seven years until she came out."

"You wonder, could we have done something different? Could we have stopped this?"

The father says that he feels his daughter's voice has been "muffled" by the publication ban and he wants the school to be forthcoming.

"The school needs to be accountable, not only to the parent body and students that were there when my daughter was attending the school, but also to current and future parents," the father said.

"The public has to know that there's individuals like this."


Trevor Dunn is an award-winning journalist with CBC Toronto. Since 2008 he's covered a variety of topics, ranging from local and national politics to technology on the South American countryside. Trevor is interested in uncovering news: real estate, crime, corruption, art, sports. Reach out to him. Se habla español.

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