Volume 95, Issue 69

Tuesday, February 5, 2002
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Psychic: Sinal will win USC election

Let the ass-kissing begin

Pride Awareness Day hits UCC atrium

Wall of debt - much nicer than the Berlin Wall

Hot for teacher: Amy Gehring not guilty

Rebellious youth thumb noses at disease

Cops prevent biker rumble at fair grounds

Hot for teacher: Amy Gehring not guilty

By Joel Brown
Gazette Staff

Western graduate Amy Gehring was acquitted in a British courtroom yesterday on four charges of indecently assaulting two of her teenage students in December 2000.

After deliberating for more than 10 hours, a jury of seven men and five women reached a not guilty verdict on three of the charges. The acquittals were based on a majority decision, meaning at least 10 jurors agreed she was not guilty.

The jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge that accused the 26-year-old of having sex with a 15-year-old male at a private house party. It was then dismissed by Judge John Bull.

Gehring showed no reaction as the verdict was read.

Her lawyer, David Todd, said yesterday his client was happy with the jury's decision.

"It stands to reason that Amy is very pleased and delighted by today's verdict," he said. "It must be remembered that this case has hung over her head for well over a year. She is certainly looking forward to returning home, well away form the public eye."

During the two-week trial, Gehring denied having sex with the two boys, telling the court they had made up their stories. She pleaded not guilty to four counts of indecent assault, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

After the verdict, police revealed there had been a previous investigation of Gehring's alleged behaviour with a male pupil, but the matter did not arise in court.

"In that investigation, due to the unwillingness of one pupil to pursue a prosecution and the fact that the other complainant was over 16-years-old at the time of the alleged incident, we were unable to proceed with the prosecution," said the Surrey police department in a release.

Gehring, who is from Otterville, Ontario, graduated from Western's faculty of education in June 2000 and was highly recommended by the school. She arrived in Britain to teach in the London, England area in September 2000 and worked at the school in Surrey for a month leading up to the Christmas break.

She soon made friends with a tight-knit group of her students and eventually slept over at students' homes, went shopping and drank with them.

"I can't believe that was me," she said. "I should have never become friends with them that way."

–with files from Canadian Press

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