‘Teachers just can’t behave like this’: Lavigne handed 13-month sentence
Published Friday, September 26, 2014 3:51PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, September 26, 2014 6:41PM EDT
Jacqueline Lavigne has been sentenced to 13 months in prison.
“This is one spectacular fall from grace here,” Justice Patrick Flynn said Friday as he delivered the sentence.
“Teachers just can’t behave like this.”
In April, Lavigne was convicted of sexual exploitation in connection with an incident that occurred in 2011.
At the time, she was employed as a teacher at Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School in Cambridge.
Court heard that she had sex with one of her students, who was 17 years old at the time.
The student eventually threatened to alert authorities to the incident, court was told, if Lavigne didn’t give him passing grades in her class.
Crown prosecutor Melissa Ernewein had asked for a sentence of 18 to 24 months, while defence lawyers did not make a formal submission.
Following the sentencing, Ernewein said prison time was, from the Crown’s perspective, an important component of the sentence.
“Teachers in our society are in a very important position of trust. When they violate that trust, there needs to be consequences,” she said.
Lawyers representing Lavigne have filed a motion to appeal her conviction.
That case is expected to be heard in Toronto on Monday.
In delivering his sentence, Flynn said Lavigne “forgot” that she was the “adult” in her relationship with the teen, and should have treated her BlackBerry – with which she once exchanged nearly 300 messages with the student over a two-day period – as a “hot potato”.
“Ms. Lavigne succumbed to lustful temptations presented to her,” he said.
“This isn’t one lapse of judgement. Her manipulative, exploitative conduct lasted the better part of two months.”
Lavigne, who was fired by the Waterloo Catholic District School Board one week after her conviction, did not testify on her own behalf.
At Friday’s sentencing, she was supported – as she has been throughout her legal proceedings – by family members including her husband.