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Port Alberni teacher sentenced for sexual assault

A former Port Alberni teacher has been sentenced to probation for sexually assaulting a female student.

In a Vancouver courtroom, Justice Fenlon sentenced Gary Semchuk, 59, to two years’ probation plus a host of conditions for one count of sexual assault.

The probation conditions include no contact with underage witnesses involved in the case, no contact with females under age 16, and not to be near daycares, public parks or swimming areas.

Semchuk – who no longer lives in the Valley – is also to attend counselling, take sex offender treatment and he will also be registered as a sex offender for the next 20 years.

The crown asked for two years probation and the defense agreed, prosecutor Christina Proteau said.

The offence occurred in 1986-1987 but the passage of time didn’t lessen the seriousness of the crime. “It’s still egregious because of the breach of trust in the teacher-student relationship,” Proteau said.

Semchuk was originally charged with four counts each of sexual assault, sexual interference and sexual exploitation in cases involving five other victims.

But he was acquitted of 10 charges in July because of reasonable doubt, Proteau said.

The case had been heard in Port Alberni thus far but was concluded in Vancouver because of simultaneous court cases Justice Fenlon is involved with, Proteau said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

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