Volume 95, Issue 67

Thursday, January 31, 2002

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Four students seek Huron crown

UWOFA support students

Fine, take all our weed, we'll just do shrooms

Gehring gets off, legally speaking

Cooldegrees denies any wrongdoing

Hey math nerds! Solve this ya geeks

Double cohort means double the confusion

News Briefs

Gehring gets off, legally speaking

By Jessica Leeder
Gazette Staff

A supply teacher accused of having sex with three teenage boys was acquitted yesterday on one charge after a judge ordered the jury to find her not guilty of indecently assaulting a 15-year old student.

Amy Gehring, 26, from Otterville – near Tillsonburg, Ont., has pleaded not guilty to the four remaining charges of indecent assault.

Gehring was cleared of the one charge because it was ruled the boy led the teacher into a bathroom at a New Year's Eve house party, which – under British law – means he initiated the encounter and therefore could not have been assaulted even if they did have sex.

Throughout her testimony Wednesday, Gehring portrayed herself as the victim of schoolboy lies. She admitted she had not behaved properly with her students, by socializing and partying with them, but denied allegations of sexual acts in an alleyway in December 2000.

She described herself as a "glorified babysitter" in classes that were "basically out of control." In some classes, male students had inappropriately touched her, she told the jury.

"Every day there was grabbing, touching, gestures," she said. "Obviously I didn't like it."

Gehring arrived in Britain in August 2000 after graduating from Western earlier that year. She said she only became a teacher because she was dating a tobacco farmer whom she thought she would marry.

Teaching would allow her to help on the farm during the summer, she added.

After five-and-a-half years, her boyfriend broke up with her and she decided to work abroad to "try to live my life without my ex-boyfriend in the background," she said.

Now, Gehring says she never wants to teach again.

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

In Tuesday's testimony, two of the teenagers said their parents made agreements with newspapers that would pay their families at least 10,000 British pounds ($23,000 CAN) each.

One of the teenagers, now 16, who allegedly had sex with Gehring three times, said no agreement had been reached. But his brother 15, who accuses Gehring of having sex with him once, later testified his father had agreed to sell the entire family's story to the Daily Mail for a minimum of 10,000 pounds.

The third boy, also 16, told the court his family has signed agreements with the Sunday People and the Mail on Sunday for 5,000 pounds ($11,500 CAN) from each paper to tell of this lone sexual encounter.

–with files from

Canadian Press

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