May 17, 2016 - 1:05 PM
KELOWNA - A 30-year-old West Kelowna woman was handed a minimum jail sentence yesterday for kissing a 15-year-old girl who was a student at the school where she worked as a teacher’s aide.
Miranda Klassen admits she crossed a line in 2014 when she and an underage student would “make out, kiss and hold each other,” according to crown lawyer Cory LaBoucane.
“Things didn’t go much further than that,” he said in Kelowna Provincial Court May 16.
Klassen, who now lives in Burnaby, has no criminal record and is no longer working as a teacher’s aide. Her lawyer Gavin Jones says she deeply regrets the mistake.
“(The victim) had a crush on my client,” he says. “There are emails. The kissing was mutually initiated. My client broke off the contact. There was nothing more than kissing, holding and hugging and it didn’t go past that.”
When the incident was discovered some time later, Klassen was suspended immediately and never returned to work.
Both lawyers agreed to an intermittent jail sentence of 90 days, the mandatory minimum for a charge of sexual interference of a person under 16, followed by two years’ probation. Charges of touching a young person for sexual purpose and sexual assault were stayed.
Judge Wilfred Klinger called it “a difficult situation” but agreed to the sentence.
“You are here because you were in a position of authority with this child,” he said to her. “You had a duty with that child to conduct yourself in a professional manner.”
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