A Casselman-based Catholic high school educational assistant is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a teen boy for several months.
The boy is under age 16, so even if he consented to sex with an adult, it would be against the law.
OPP Const. Chantal Duchesne was called to the school on Sept. 5 to investigate a report of a sexual assault against the boy. Her investigation, assisted by the Hawkesbury crime unit, resulted in charges which were announced Friday against Annie Carriere-Cote, 33, of Alfred-Plantagenet.
She faces charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.
Hawkesbury OPP spokesman Const. Pierre Dubois said it was the boy’s family who came forward with a complaint to the boy’s school.
He said that while the woman is an educational assistant, the alleged sexual activity happened outside of a school setting. He did characterize Carriere-Cote as someone who was in “a position of trust” and said the allegations are that they had sex a number of times.
Police said the sexual relationship began earlier this year. The woman had been moved around to different schools and was currently working at the French Catholic high school in Casselman.
Investigators don’t expect any additional complainants to come forward.
She has been released on a promise to appear in L’Orginal court Oct. 22.
Superintendent Alain Martel, a spokesman for the L’Orignal-based school board — French Catholic School Board of Eastern Ontario — said they sent Carriere-Cote home when they learned of the allegations against her. He said they are co-operating with the OPP and are conducting their own internal investigation.
Martel said Carriere-Cote began at the school in September and wouldn’t say how long she’s been employed by the board or provide the names of the other schools where she worked.
Known as an “educator”, Carriere-Cote’s job was to work with students who have behavioural problems or other issues which present learning challenges in a regular classroom. She wasn’t an academic tutor.
Martel said the school board won’t allow her to return to work until the internal investigation is complete.
“We assigned her to home to make sure the students were not at risk,” he said.
If anyone has information they should call Hawkesbury OPP at 613-632-2729.
The charges come just days after another case involving allegations of a sexual relationship between an Ottawa teaching assistant and a 15-year-old boy.
Kathy Kitts, 44, faces charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation, alleging she was involved in a two-year sexual relationship. The Ottawa Carleton District School Board has suspended Kitts and a publication ban was ordered in the case.