Caution: the following story contains details that may be disturbing to some.
A former Vernon elementary school teacher has been sentenced to three and a half years in jail for sex crimes involving young boys.
Anoop Klair was sentenced on four counts of sexual interference, three counts sexual assault, and one count of sexual assault with a weapon during four separate assaults against minors.
Supreme Court Justice Murray Blok sentenced the Coldstream man Wednesday in Vernon court.
Crown counsel Margaret Cissell asked for a sentence of between five and seven years, while defence lawyer Nicholas Jacob asked for a conditional sentence to be served in the community.
The crimes took place against children between the ages of eight and 13 when Klair was in his late teens and early 20s. He is now 40 years old with a wife and children of his own.
Blok said there were many mitigating circumstances in his sentencing, such as Klair having no prior criminal record, abiding by his parole requirements, being separated from his family as the case unfolded, and several letters of support.
Aggravating circumstances included the young ages of the victims, the “limited position of trust” he held over them, and the use of violence against one of the boys.
Three of the assaults involved sexual touching of young boys, while the fourth involved the penetrative use of some type of object, possibly a toilet plunger, in a boy's anus.
Blok called the assault “appalling” and could therefore not justify a conditional sentence.
Several members of Klair's adoptive family were in attendance when the sentence was read.
Klair came to Canada when he was adopted at 13 years old from the Punjab.
He graduated from a local high school, went on to earn his teaching degree, and worked as an on-call teacher for several years as well as at a Vernon grocery store.
He resigned both positions when the charges were brought forward.
Klair must also serve 10 years on probation, and received a five-year prohibition of being near parks or places with children. He must submit a DNA sample and be placed on the national sex offender registry.