SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2016 BCPC 150, Mr. O, a teacher and house leader at a boarding school, was found guilty on four counts of sexual exploitation and one count of child luring but acquitted on a charge of sexual assault. Mr. O, who was 34 years old, started a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student, Ms. A, using Facebook messenger. Although he was not her teacher, he occupied a guardianship role at the boarding school and his wife was a teacher, academic coordinator and vice principal at a school she had attended. The couple were friends with her mother, who was terminally ill and a single-parent.
He communicated with her through Facebook and by text, where he made sexual advances, expressed worry and care for her and her family, discussed the consequences of them having a relationship, and planned where and when they would have sexual interactions. However, the interactions were initiated by Mr. O in his role as a school employee, she referred in the messages and in the court by his professional title (Mr. Olson or Mr. O), and they had conversations which reflected their student/teacher relationship. They had sexual intercourse on two occasions.
Based on these factors of authority and trust, the court found him guilty of sexual exploitation and luring. However, the sexual intercourse, although rough in nature, was found consensual given their Facebook conversations following the incidents and therefore not sexual assault.
Criminal Offence(s): Sexual Exploitation