Teacher's licence revoked following sex convictions

Andrew Seymour, Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Cornwall-area teacher convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student has had her teacher's licence revoked.

 The Ontario College of Teachers withdrew the teaching licence of Jennifer Dorland, 42, earlier this month after finding her guilty of eight counts of professional misconduct under the Ontario College of Teachers Act.

 Ms. Dorland, who now goes by the name Jennifer Toews, pleaded no contest to the accusations. She did not attend the May 6 hearing or have a lawyer make arguments on her behalf.

 In their decision, the three-member disciplinary panel found that Ms. Dorland's actions "betrayed the trust of students, parents and the public."

 "She used her position of authority to take advantage of the student for her own sexual gratification," the decision said. "The evidence showed that the member behaved in a predatory manner by surreptitious grooming of the student for sexual purposes."

 Among the allegations heard by the disciplinary panel were that Ms. Dorland abused a student "physically, sexually, verbally, psychologically or emotionally" and committed acts that would be regarded by other members as "disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional." The Grade 7 and 8 teacher was criminally convicted of sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching on Dec. 20.

 Her trial heard evidence from the student that he and Ms. Dorland kissed and fondled one another in the basement of her home in September 2004. Two sexually suggestive e-mails sent by Ms. Dorland to the student were also entered into evidence.

 Ms. Dorland admitted at trial to sending the "inappropriate" e-mails, but denied that she ever had a sexual encounter with the student.

 Ms. Dorland, who is facing a maximum term of up to 10 years in prison on each count, is to be sentenced July 4.

 aseymour@thecitizen.canwest.com

  Ottawa Citizen 2008