Kamloops teacher on trial for sexual assault, accused of groping two Grade 7 girls in 2019

Teacher on trial for groping

A Kamloops teacher is standing trial on sexual assault charges, accused of groping two girls in a seventh-grade shop class in 2019.

Neither the teacher nor the school can be named under a court-ordered ban prohibiting the publication of any information that could identify the young complainants.

The alleged incidents took place at a high school in the Kamloops-Thompson school district on Oct. 29, 2019.

The teacher is accused of sexually assaulting two girls in a Grade 7 shop class — grabbing the backside of one and touching the breast of the other.

One of the girls was the first witness called on Monday when the teacher’s trial began in Kamloops provincial court. She said she was working on a project using a wood lathe when the teacher approached her and offered feedback on the bowl she was making.

“I walked around him and he was criticizing it for the scratches on it,” the girl, who was 12 at the time, said in court.

“I walked around him to see the other side. He walked around me and squeezed my butt.”

The girl described the grab as a squeeze with one open hand.

Crown prosecutor Neil Wiberg asked her if it hurt.

“No,” she replied. “It was uncomfortable, but I don’t recall that it hurt.”

The girl said she then spoke to a classmate about what happened.

“I was like, ‘[The teacher] just touched my butt,’” the girl said.

“And she was like, ‘[The teacher] just touched my boob.’ I was like, ‘I’m going to go tell [the principal].’”

The Kamloops-Thompson school district said it is aware of the allegations against the teacher. In a statement to Castanet Kamloops, SD73 Supt. Terry Sullivan said the teacher remains a member of the district’s staff "but is inactive at the present time."

The trial is expected to conclude on Tuesday.

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