Perv teacher convicted of molesting girls

By ,Ottawa Sun

First posted:


A supply teacher fancied himself a top-notch educator, but a judge found him to be nothing more than an opportunistic pervert who groped five Grade 3 girls for sexual thrills.

Yousef Chaouni-Benabdallah, 49, almost got away with it.

He'd been called in for a friendly chat with Ottawa Police Det. Joanne Marelic after two young girls at Ecole Odysee claimed Chaouni, as he is known, had gotten touchy-feely with them upon getting them alone at some point in December 2010.

But Chaouni, cool as ice, had answers for everything and Marelic reluctantly closed the file on March 13, 2011.

"After Det. Marelic did not charge Mr. Chaouni, "¦ (he) was emboldened, thinking that he was able to deflect any accusations against him in the future," Judge Paul Lalonde said Friday.

And so, on assignment at Sawmill Creek Elementary School and assigned to Grade 3 classes, Chaouni went back to his old ways.

He called one girl a princess and shameless favoured her over other students, all the while hoping she would favour him.

During a "practice lockdown" in November 2011, the girl found herself next to Chaouni on the floor.

He cuddled up for her, and slid his hands in her pants to grab her bum.

The teacher also used various ruses to keep another girl after class.

When they were alone, he'd plunge his hands into her pants, prompting the girl to concoct schemes of her own to avoid spending time with him.

Chaouni became so brazen he would touch girls in front of their classmates.

Another Sawmill Creek student said Chaouni had used a class demonstration as an excuse to grope her genitals over her clothes.

It was the Sawmill Creek girls who spelled the end of Chaouni's actions. One of the girls' father called the cops and Marelic reopened the investigation on Nov. 17, 2011.

A press release announcing Chaouni's capture prompted the other girls to come forward.

Chaouni took the stand in his own defence but he proved to be his own worst enemy.

He tried to portray himself as a teacher beloved by his students, who he said called him "Papa Chaouni."

The judge believed none of it.

"Whether he was alone with a student or was practising a lockdown ... he seized the moment to fulfill his fantasy," Lalonde said.

"He continued to take risks and got caught."

Chaouni remains out on bail ahead of a planned June 10 sentencing hearing.

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