July 18, 2013 - 6:59 PM
PENTICTON - A Penticton parent is happy with the sentencing of a child sex offender and remains committed to suing the school board who gave the man approval to conduct a student transfer.
Rene Mark Burke was sentenced in Penticton Provincial Court to 43 months in prison on Thursday for committing sex crimes against a minor. The victim's father, who cannot be identified by court order, was pleased with the outcome. Burke was sentenced for touching a young person for a sexual purpose and was given three months for breaching bail conditions.
Judge Meg Shaw said she considered Burke's previous criminal history including one sex offence conviction when considering the man's sentence. She also considered his more recent crimes. In 2011 Burke met and wooed his male victim into living with him. The judge said Burke took steps to remove his victim from his family and to use the victim for his sexual gratification. During the summer of 2011 Burke successfully got two approvals from School District 67 to transfer the teen from one school to another. This happened without the biological father's permission or knowledge.
When the father learned what happened from another person he wanted the school board to acknowledge itsmistake. The victim's father got copies of school documents showing Burke had indeed claimed to be the boy's custodian. He turned this over to the RCMP and Burke was eventually arrested.
The father has since launched a civil suit against the school board for approving the school transfer. The next court date is in October with the expectation of the civil trial starting in January. The father wants school board officials and trustees to explain in court how a non-parent or non-custodian, with a criminal record, was given approval to transfer a child from one school to another.
With 20.5 months already served in custody, and with that time being counted as credit, Burke will serve another 22.5 months in jail. When he is released he has been ordered to have no contact with his victim or his victim's father and zero contact with anyone under 16 except for incidental contact. This would apply when Burke is at a store buying goods from a youth or having a job where he would come into contact with youth. The Crown also wanted Burke to be on the sex offender registry for 20 years. Shaw approved.
Outside of court the father said Burke's release conditions don't really matter. As for his son, the father said he is doing better. The teen graduated school, got himself a job and found a girlfriend.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013