Teacher jailed for abuse

Melissa Le­feb­vre, who pleaded guilty to sex­u­ally touch­ing a stu­dent, is sen­tenced to 14 months

The Observer (Sarnia) - - FRONT PAGE - LOUIS PIN

A dis­graced Sar­nia teacher who pleaded guilty to sex­u­ally touch­ing a stu­dent over whom she held a po­si­tion of au­thor­ity will serve 14 months in jail and two years pro­ba­tion, a judge ruled Thursday.

Melissa Le­feb­vre, 38, sat qui­etly with her fam­ily in the court­house where six months ago the for­mer North­ern Col­le­giate In­sti­tute French teacher and stu­dent li­ai­son ad­mit­ted to en­gag­ing in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity with a stu­dent on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions be­tween 2016 and 2017.

The stu­dent’s iden­tity is pro­tected by a pub­li­ca­tion ban.

Jus­tice Mark Horn­blower said Le­feb­vre ac­cepted full re­spon­si­bil­ity for what hap­pened, and ap­plauded her effort to seek coun­selling with­out court di­rec­tion. But her ac­tions were nev­er­the­less “dif­fi­cult to fathom,” Horn­blower said, and would have lin­ger­ing ef­fects on the stu­dent.

“Some of the peo­ple I deal with, sadly, their path is pre­dictable,” Horn­blower said. “Your sit­u­a­tion was re­mark­ably dif­fer­ent . . . The pre-sen­tence re­port de­scribed a per­son who was car­ing, com­pas­sion­ate, and a pos­i­tive role model. It is hard to fathom how, in the face of all that, we are sit­ting here to­day.”

Also noted was the im­me­di­ate guilty plea and Le­feb­vre’s de­ci­sion not to pro­long the court pro­ceed­ing.

The stu­dent was not in court to tes­tify.

Also as man­dated by the court, Le­feb­vre is not to con­tact the vic­tim or the stu­dent’s par­ents, and is to seek re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion as rec­om­mended by her pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer. She will be reg­is­tered on a sex of­fender reg­istry.

“It was wrong any way it is looked at,” Horn­blower said. “It was legally wrong, it was morally wrong, it was eth­i­cally wrong, it was pro­fes­sion­ally wrong, and it was parentally wrong.”

Le­feb­vre, in court for the first time since her guilty plea, did not speak dur­ing Thursday’s court pro­ceed­ing. She left quickly af­ter Horn­blower made his de­ci­sion.

Le­feb­vre has been sus­pended by the On­tario Col­lege of Teach­ers, the pro­vin­cial reg­u­la­tory body, pend­ing for­mal pro­fes­sional dis­ci­pline. Ac­cord­ing to its online data­base, Le­feb­vre, a Western Univer­sity grad­u­ate, had been li­censed to teach since 2005.

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