Calgary teacher charged with sex offences
Published Friday, February 14, 2014 8:39AM MST Last Updated Friday, February 14, 2014 6:21PM MST
Police have charged a Calgary teacher in connection with several sexual offences involving a 16-year-old boy.
The female teacher is charged with four offences, including sexual assault and invitation to sexual touching and taught at Our Lady of Assumption School in the northwest.
The victim was a student who attended the Catholic school where the teacher worked.
Police say that the student was 15-years-old, when the contact first began. "The student was 15 years old at the time the incidents started," says Staff Sergeant Kelly Campbell, Child Abuse Unit. "Therefore, a student cannot consent to a sexual relationship with a person in a position of trust."
The offences took place between August 2012 and November 2013.
Police were notified about the situation when a member of the public reported suspicious activity inside a vehicle in northwest Calgary.
Officers attended and spoke with both individuals.
Following a subsequent investigation, Jennifer Mason, was arrested on February 13, 2014, without incident.
Mason has been charged with:
- sexual assault
- invitation to sexual touching
- sexual exploitation by a person in a position of trust
- sexual interference
She is scheduled to appear in court on February 28.
The identity of the youth is not being revealed.
Police say they, along with both school boards in Calgary, take these incident seriously.
"These types of incidents, the Calgary Police, both school boards in Calgary, take them very seriously. We are committed to investigate these allegations. We are concerned about them and we'll investigate to the fullest. They are concerning, absolutely, for all involved."
According to the Calgary Catholic School Board, Mason has been suspended from her position pending the outcome of the investigation.
"Immediately upon finding out a few months back that an investigation was underway, the teacher was put on unassigned duties and removed from the school," Tania Younker, with the Calgary Catholic School Board said. "After a paralell, internal investigation by Calgary Catholic, she was suspended."
Younker said the school board has informed parents about the incident.
"As always, the safety of our students is our top priority. We're shocked, saddened, and disappointed to hear this news and our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved."
Younker says that all teachers employed at the school are required to have a clear criminal records check before beginning employment.
"There is also an annual in service of appropriate boundaries and conflicts of interest that anybody in a position of trust or authority is required to take."
She says that the CCSB is always looking out for ways to improve their policies, but believe that they have the appropriate measures currently in place.
Counseling services will be available at the school next week for those students and teachers who need it.