Violin teacher who measured girls breasts convicted of sexual assault on appeal

first_imgA former violin teacher who measured his teenage students’ bare breasts while fitting them for shoulder rests has been convicted on more than two dozen sexual and indecent assault charges after Ontario’s top court found it was not necessary to prove he acted with a sexual purpose.The Court of Appeal for Ontario overturned Claude Trachy’s acquittals on those charges but upheld them on a number of sexual interference and sexual exploitation charges, which do require sexual intentions for a conviction.In a unanimous decision released Tuesday, the appeal court says the trial judge made an error in law by considering sexual intentions as a criteria for all the charges.Prosecutors had appealed the acquittals largely on this issue, arguing the trial judge oversimplified the allegations to focus exclusively on whether the Chatham, Ont., man acted with a sexual purpose.The charges relate to incidents that took place in the 1970s through the early 1990s.Court documents filed in the appeal said the complainants testified they were asked to remove their shirt and bra on the left side so that Trachy could measure them from collarbone to nipple.They testified he touched their breast during this process and sometimes would then have them play with a breast exposed. Four complainants also alleged he took a plastic mould of their left breast.Trachy, now 73, maintained he believed the measuring was necessary — despite an expert’s testimony that it was neither required nor justified — and that he derived no sexual gratification from it.“The respondent agreed that he intentionally touched the breasts of his young female students. They were too young to consent. He did not touch the boys’ chests, nor did he touch the breasts of his own daughter,” who was also his student, the appeal court wrote in its decision.The trial judge did no analysis regarding the sexual integrity of the complainants and whether it was violated, not did he address the position of trust between the students and their teacher, the appeal court wrote.“These were largely girls who were in the process of developing breasts, and who were alone with the respondent in a private room with the door closed. Their sexual integrity was violated, regardless of the respondent’s purpose. The acquittals on the sexual assault and indecent assault charges therefore cannot stand,” it said. Court heard from more than 20 complainants, all of them now adults.An associate professor of music at Wilfrid Laurier University also provided expert testimony, saying there was no need to measure students from collarbone to nipple to fit them for a shoulder rest.The professor added he had never heard of a theory that called for students to be measured without clothes or to observe them with a breast exposed.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Presslast_img