An Ontario private school teacher walked out of court a free woman after pleading guilty to relentlessly pursuing a 17-year-old student and pressuring her into a same-sex relationship.
According to an agreed statement of facts, Leslie Barton, 54, of Peterborough, Ont., a popular teacher and a married mother of a young child, began her pursuit during a school trip in 2010.
She wrote several love letters to the teenager and massaged her shoulders. That escalated to a stolen kiss by the end of the trip.
“After the trip, Leslie Barton’s sexual advances increased in frequency and aggressiveness,” the court document says.
She’d e-mail the girl to meet at certain places in the school, where they would be alone. The kissing and sexual contact escalated during the meetings.
To Barton, graduation day only meant the girl would be available for sex.
Barton told the girl “she always wanted to do more with her but she wanted to wait until (she) was 18 years old … Barton wanted to show the victim how to be a ‘good lover.'”
Eventually, the girl’s mental health began to crack. She underwent counselling and finally confronted Barton — “who apologized to her for the situation and took responsibility” — then went to police.
During sentencing, Judge R.W. Beninger noted Barton had jeopardized her marriage, lost her job, her reputation and her ability to volunteer in the community.
“No jail sentence can fix the wrong that was done (to the victim),” the judge said in sentencing Barton to 10 days, which she’d already served awaiting the hearing.