A former Raymond High School teacher accused of having inappropriate interactions with a student took the stand in his own defence on Monday.
Jentry Jack Salmon recounted the events that took place in the months before he was charged with sexual exploitation and child luring.
In court, Salmon denied parts of his accuser’s testimony, including the allegation that he often bought the victim Slurpees and would take evening drives with the student alone.
He told the court that the only time he and the student were alone in a vehicle together is when Salmon needed help transporting a vehicle to his wife and the student drove him back to his house.
When asked, Salmon told the court he was not aware of any policy about meeting a student outside of school, adding that he had met the student only four times outside of school.
Salmon also told the court that he was a support to the student, as he said she was facing personal challenges and issues about which she did not want her parents to know. He added that his relationship with the student was not only as a coach, as Salmon said the student was friends with his wife and even babysat their children.
Salmon told the court that he had addressed more than one rumour involving the student that was allegedly instigated by some of the players he coached. He said that he was able to take care of the situation by speaking directly to the players and helping them to understand that such rumours could have serious implications.
Salmon also told the court that on one occasion, he gave the student a partial hug and the student went on to tell him that she felt a zing. Salmon said he then felt concerned the student had a possible teenage crush on him, adding that as soon as he recognized she had feelings for him, he was concerned and tried to distance himself, even deleting her from the app Snapchat.
Eventually, a meeting was called involving Salmon, the school’s principal and the student’s parents to address concerns circulating about their relationship.
The trial is scheduled to continue all week.