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Sex assault charges against Ottawa high school teacher

The accused was teaching at St. Patrick's High School at the time of the alleged incidents. Police believe there could be more victims.
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The Ottawa Police Service badge. (Photo/ Ottawa Police Service Twitter)

An Ottawa high school teacher is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a female under the age of 18.

The Ottawa Police Service Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit said this follows an investigation into sexual offenses that happened at a local school between 2014 and 2016.

At the time, the accused was teaching at St. Patrick's High School of the Ottawa Catholic School Board.

Robert Lavergne, 55, of Ottawa has been charged and is scheduled to appear in court on April 25.

SACA investigators said there could be other victims.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa Police Service SACA Unit at 613-236-1222, extension 5944. Tips may also be sent electronically to SACA@ottawapolice.ca.

Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS) or by downloading the Ottawa Police app.

Meanwhile the Ottawa Catholic School Board has issued this statement:

We were deeply sorry to learn that a teacher at St. Patrick's High School has been charged by the Ottawa Police Service following an investigation into allegations involving inappropriate behaviour towards a former student. The teacher has been suspended. A letter has been sent home to parents.

"The number one priority for our Board is the continued safety and well-being of each student. We will continue to cooperate with the police in their investigation of this matter. As a Catholic community, we will pray for all the persons affected by this difficult situation. I truly regret that such conduct has allegedly occurred at one of our schools," said Denise Andre, OCSB Director of Education.

"We are asking if any student has any information to please come forward to the police. Police investigators are concerned that there may be more victims." added Ms. Andre. 

School-based counselling and central professional resources are available to students, staff and families. In the meantime, we are hopeful that the media will act with restraint and respect the privacy of the students at the school. We are asking that students and others act with similar respect on social media and not to engage in speculation, as the police investigate this difficult matter further.

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