Warning: This story contains graphic details of sex crime allegations that may disturb readers. Discretion is advised.
A former Vernon teacher on trial for sex crimes that date back two decades took the stand on Thursday and denied the allegations against him.
Forty-year-old Anoop Singh Klair said that he did not sexually assault young boys between 1999 and 2003.
Many of the details of this case are under a publication ban, including the identities of the alleged victims.
Klair told court that although one night he did end up in a sleeping situation where he was sharing a bed with a young boy, he did not fondle the youth’s genitals.
He said he grabbed the boy’s shoulders and shook him to wake him up from a nightmare, although he admitted that he never turned on the lights or told anybody at the incident at the time.
Klair also denied sodomizing a teenager in a washroom with some sort of object.
He also told court he didn’t straddle a couch, pin a different boy down, and touch the youth’s genitals over his clothes.
He also denied the allegation that he started touching the genitals of yet another youth, again when they ended up in a situation where they were sharing a bed.
Throughout the trial, court heard testimony from several of Klair’s alleged victims.
The incidents in question date back to the time before Klair was an elementary school substitute teacher, which is a career he held for more than 10 years.
Klair quit in 2018 after the allegations surfaced.
In her final question to Klair, the Crown asked if he resigned as a teacher so that four young men wouldn’t go to court.
He replied that he did.
During closing arguments, the defence told the judge that Klair’s testimony should raise reasonable doubt.
The defence argued that the accused should be believed, and that there’s no independent evidence to contradict Klair’s version of events.
The Crown is expected to present closing arguments on Friday.