Burlington teacher not guilty of sex charges
BURLINGTON — A former Burlington teacher has been acquitted of all charges stemming from a police investigation into allegations of sexual offences against elementary students.
Dennis Connolly was acquitted of all 27 charges in Burlington provincial court by Justice David Harris on Tuesday.
The judge’s written reasons for finding Connolly not guilty on all counts were filed but not read in open court, on the agreement by the Halton Crown attorney’s representative and one of Connolly’s lawyers. About a dozen people were in the courtroom to hear the verdict in the case.
In November 2015, when Connolly was teaching at Alexander’s Public School on Sutton Drive in northeast Burlington, he faced seven charges laid by Halton Regional Police.
Connolly, 59, was initially charged with one count of assault and three counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference as part of allegations involving four minors. The music teacher ultimately faced one count of assault and 13 counts each of sexual assault and sexual interference involving a total of 14 students.
Outside the courtroom, Owen Goddard, one of Connolly’s Toronto-based lawyers, said they had nothing to say but that a statement might be released later.
Several hours later, Goddard said, “Obviously, we are very pleased with the result …. We are happy that he (Connolly) has been vindicated.”
Connolly was a music teacher at Alexander’s, a junior-kindergarten-Grade 8 school, at the time of the charges. He was assigned to home without teaching duties on Nov. 17, 2015 by the school board when it was first advised of an investigation. He had been at the school since it opened in 2006.
An official with the Halton District School Board said Tuesday that Connolly is no longer an employee. It was not stated when the relationship ended.
The school board sent a letter out to parents and guardians of children at Alexander’s stating, in part, that Connolly had been acquitted of all charges.