Judge orders suspected molester to return to school

Judge orders suspected molester to return to school
Judge orders suspected molester to return to school

A 14-year-old boy accused of committing acts of a sexual nature can continue to attend the same school as his alleged victims. A Superior Court judge orders his reinstatement in class, six months after his expulsion.

The teenager attends a secondary school at the Navigateurs School Service Center (CSSDN), in Chaudière-Appalaches. Since he cannot be identified because he is a minor, the decision of judge Jacques Blanchard designates him as X.

X is suspended from his high school in the fall of 2023. He is suspected of having committed acts of a sexual nature against three alleged victims, including two students at his school.

He is charged with distribution of child pornography, luring and possession of child pornography. The teenager, who has pleaded not guilty, agrees to comply with release conditions. He is prohibited from communicating with his alleged victims or being in their presence.

Three days after becoming aware of these conditions, the school management expels X, who is transferred to another establishment. However, his mother told the court that there is no public transportation or school taxi in the area where she lives and that she is not able to provide transportation for her son.

Complaint filed

The mother files a complaint with the National Student Ombudsman. A distance learning service was set up for the teenager more than a month after his expulsion. His release conditions are modified, allowing him to return to his school, despite the presence of other students.

The Regional Student Protector writes her report in the winter and sends it to the CSSDN. She recommends the student’s reintegration into class. Meanwhile, an additional charge is being filed against Xthat is, that of sexual assault against one of the alleged victims who attends his school.

Despite the recommendations, the board of directors of the Navigateurs School Service Center decided to maintain his expulsion.

Five months after being removed from school, X learns that his distance education is over and that he finds himself deprived of education.

Fear of an alleged victim

The teenager’s mother decided to go to court. She demands nothing more and nothing less than the immediate reintegration of her son into his school, so that he can finish his second year of secondary school.

In court, the CSSDN explained that he had an obligation to ensure the safety of students. X would have been expelled since the school in question is small, making it difficult to keep X and the alleged victims at a distance, one of whom fears his reintegration.

In his judgment rendered in April, Judge Blanchard, however, ruled in favor of X and his mother. He reprimands the CSSDNwho would not have heard the version of events from the teenager and his mother before deporting him.

Balance of disadvantages

Since the teenager was deprived of education at the time of rendering his decision, the judge states that his academic success is seriously compromised and that he would suffer serious and even irreparable harm if he couldn’t return to class.

However, the judge concludes that it is X who finds himself at a disadvantage.

The Court thus concludes that the balance of convenience favorswrites the judge, specifying that the conditions of release allow the CSSDNto meet its obligations towards students attending the establishment.

The judge therefore ordered the school service center to reinstate the student until June 11, the scheduled date for his case to return to court.

THE CSSDN declined to comment on the situation, as criminal charges still hang against X. The organization also did not want to specify what measures were put in place to prevent the teenager from meeting his alleged victims at school.

All decisions were made in the interests of the victims, while ensuring the education of the alleged attacker.

A quote from Louise Boisvert, communications coordinator, Navigateurs school service center

A framework law demanded

This situation illustrates the dual responsibility of educational establishments for the Regroupement des CALACS, the support centers and the fight against sexual assault.

It is important to guarantee access to school services, but it is also important to ensure the safety of victims of sexual assaultillustrates the communications manager, Justine Chénier.

She deplores that there is no uniform protocol allowing Quebec schools to know how to react to allegations of acts of a sexual nature, creating reactions with variable geometry.

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The member for Québec solidaire, Ruba Ghazal, believes that many schools are not equipped to respond to situations where students are victims of sexual assault.

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot

She calls for the establishment of a framework law intended for primary and secondary schools, as exists for CEGEPs and universities. The member for Québec solidaire, Ruba Ghazal, tabled such a bill twice.

CAQ”,”text”:”Unfortunately, for the moment, this law is shelved by the CAQ government”}}”>Unfortunately, for the moment, this law is shelved by the government of the CAQdeplores the member for Mercier.

Ruba Ghazal explains that this law would include protocols and define the responsibilities of school stakeholders. It would thus allow school administrators to know what to do when a student is accused of acts of a sexual nature, but has not yet been found guilty.

It’s a tool that we give to schools, with resources, to help them in this type of situation, when they are caught between the rocks and the bark.specifies Ruba Ghazal.

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