August 29, 2014 1:39 pm

Ex-teacher gets jail time for sexually assaulting student

GATINEAU, Que. – A former Quebec high school teacher found guilty of sex crimes stemming from a relationship with a 15-year-old student will serve jail time.

Tania Pontbriand was convicted last January of sexual assault and two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for incidents between 2002 and 2004.

Quebec court Judge Valmont Beaulieu sentenced her Friday to a jail term of 20 months for the sexual assault and 18 months on the exploitation charges, to be served concurrently.

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Pontbriand will also be on probation for two years and must register herself on the sex offenders registry.

Pontbriand, who taught gym and leadership courses at a high school in Rosemere, Que., was 32 when the relationship with her student began.

She asked the judge to delay her sentence by a week so she could spend time with her young family, but he refused and she was incarcerated on the spot.

Largely impassive as Beaulieu read his sentence, Pontbriand appeared visibly upset when the judge refused the request.

The Crown had sought between 18 months and two years less a day to be served in a provincial jail, while the defence was seeking a conditional sentence.

Pontbriand has already appealed the verdict in the case.

Beaulieu rejected Pontbriand’s suggestion the sentence be served in the community.

“The court is convinced that in the present affair, the need to denounce is so pressing that incarceration is the only appropriate sentence to express the disapproval of society in respect to the conduct of the accused,” the judge wrote, adding a jail term is the best way to dissuade others.

Pontbriand was transferred to Montreal’s Tanguay Prison.

The victim only complained to police in 2007 and the charges were laid the following year.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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