In a decision released on August 18, 2022, a three-panel disciplinary hearing of the Ontario College of Teachers found that Teacher Ted Oliver sexually abused his former student in contravention of the Professional Misconduct regulation established by the Ontario College of Teachers Act. Oliver failed to appear.
News of Oliver’s abuse was first reported by Giacomo Panico at CBC News. He reports that this is the third incident of sexual abuse allegations involving St. John Catholic High School in Perth since 2019.
The panel convened electronically on July 20, 2022, to review and consider allegations that sometime in the 2000s, Oliver engaged in sexual touching and sexual intercourse with a 17-year-old female student while alone with her in his car and home. Evidence of these events was provided by the former student, who was found to be honest, forthcoming, frank and credible.
In an unfortunate pattern that is all too familiar, Oliver used inappropriate and insidious behaviour to groom his victim and used his position of trust and authority to take advantage of her.
Unfortunately, Oliver’s sexual abuse has caused lasting emotional and psychological injuries to this young woman. To paraphrase from Justice Gomery’s recent decision in the Darren Green case, it is apparent from the panel’s decision that Oliver abused this young woman who was entrusted into his care, violated the body and personal integrity of this vulnerable young woman, betrayed her trust, the trust of her family, the trust of the school that hired him, and the trust of the community at large.
Fortunately, after hearing evidence from this brave young woman, the Ontario Teacher’s College found this teacher, Ted Oliver sexually abused his student and revoked his teaching license. It is the most severe punishment the College can impose on a teacher. It is a light censure in comparison to the harm he has caused this young woman.
As noted repeatedly by our judges in Canada, the harm he inflicted on this woman is traumatic and may take years of work for her to recover from:
When the abuse of a child is inflicted by an authority figure, the evidence is that the child will suffer a confused sense of responsibility and self-blame. The resulting injuries are often not apparent until well into adulthood when the victim begins to experience sexual dysfunction, an inability to maintain intimate relationships, depression and severe negative self-images. There can be a period of time before the victim recognizes or is persuaded to confront the reality that he or she has developed those consequences. There can be a further period of time before the victim can understand a causal connection to the childhood abuse and move beyond the period of self-blame. The latter often occurs only with professional help.~ Justice TF McMahon, SGH v Gorsline, 2001 ABQB 163