A young woman from North Vancouver who was training to work helping troubled youth has been sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served on weekends, after being found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 15 year-old student.
The 22 year-old woman was doing a practicum for a college program aimed at helping at-risk teens at a North Vancouver alternate school when she began a relationship with a teenaged boy who was in one of her practicum classes.
Judge Joanne Challenger of the North Vancouver provincial court imposed the intermittent jail sentence Wednesday, following a trial last summer where the woman was found guilty of sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching. The offences happened between September 2010 and February 2011.
The woman told the judge that the boy said he was older at the time their relationship started. But the judge found the woman didn't go far enough to try to find out his age.
In a letter handed to the judge, the woman acknowledged what took place between her and the student was unacceptable and that she "should have known better."
Crown counsel had asked Challenger to impose a jail sentence of six to nine months, while the woman's defence lawyer asked for the mandatory minimum jail sentence of 45 days.
Challenger said she was allowing the sentence to be served on weekends in order to minimize harm to the woman's young son, for whom she is the sole caregiver.
In addition to the jail sentence, the woman was placed on three years probation and must perform 250 hours of community work service. While on probation, she is also prohibited from being alone with any teenaged boy between 12 and 17 and must not be in a position of trust with anyone between 12 and 16 years old. She has also been placed on the sex offender registry. The woman's name is being withheld to protect the identity of the teenaged victim - whose identity is shielded by a publication ban.