Disgraced Ottawa teacher Jessica Beraldin has been spared jail after admitting she had a sexual relationship with one of her students.
The teacher, who now uses her maiden name Jessica Fiore, stood in court Thursday and said she was deeply sorry for exploiting the teen boy and pleaded guilty to sexual assault. In a tearful apology, Fiore said her marriage was falling apart and she sought “support and affection in the wrong places.”
“I am very disappointed in myself,” she told court, noting that she had taken advantage of her position of trust.
Fiore was spared jail and instead granted a six-month conditional sentence and 18 months of probation.
Her teaching career is over and she is prohibited from being around boys under 18. She is now on the sex offender registry. Before leaving the Elgin Street courthouse Thursday, she was ordered to submit a DNA sample.
The court recognized that her guilty plea spared the victim and his family what would have been a graphic trial.
Fiore’s family — including her father, a retired Ottawa police sergeant — attended Thursday’s sentencing hearing as a strong show of support. They also filed letters of support that spoke of their disappointment and their confidence that she’ll rebuild her life.
The plea deal that spared the teacher jail was a joint position by the Crown and the defence lawyer.
According to Ottawa police, the sex crimes case dates back to July 5, 2014. Fiore was arrested in 2016 and was 30 at the time.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board said at the time of her arrest that it was deeply sorry to learn of the news. It also said it regretted that such conduct occurred at one of its schools, urged students not to speculate about the case on social media and said it would pray “for all the persons affected by this difficult situation.”
Source : http://canoe.com/news/local-news/i-am-deeply-sorry-says-ottawa-teacher-spared-jail-despite-sexual-relationship-with-teen-student/wcm/3e54d735-080e-4acc-ac42-00a58bd3331d