Teacher denies sexual relationship with student, 15
A former Toronto French teacher accused of sexually assaulting her student when he was 15 denied in court on Thursday that anything inappropriate took place between them.
Mary Gowans, a 42-year-old mother of two, is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual interference over incidents alleged to have happened in January and November 2010.
The student, who is now 18 and cannot be named, testified earlier that he and Gowans kissed, engaged in heavy petting sessions and that she exposed her breasts to him.
During questioning by her lawyer Peter Brauti on Thursday, Gowans denied anything sexual or romantic took place between the pair.
"Did you have a sexual relationship?" Brauti asked his client. "Was there sexual touching initiated by you?"
To both questions Gowans replied: "No."
Gowans testified that her student, who often babysat her children, tried to touch her once without her permission but that she put a stop to it immediately.
Brauti asked Gowans if she ever allowed her student to see her breasts or touch her crotch area.
"No I did not," she responded.
Pair exchanged thousands of text messages
The Crown presented evidence showing that Gowans and her student exchanged more than 2,200 text messages.
There is no record about the content of those texts, but Gowans testified they were mainly about the after-school hockey club she helped run or the student's plans to babysit her children.
Gowans became emotional only once during Thursday’s testimony, when she was asked about the student's statement that he did not like her two children.
"I saw him as a member of the family," she said. "My kids loved him. I feel sad."
The trial, which is being conducted by judge alone, continues Friday.
With files from CBC's Nil Koksal