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St. John’s teacher charged with sexually exploiting student ordered to stand trial

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SaltWire Network file photo

Krysta Grimes appeared in court Friday morning

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

A St. John’s high school teacher charged with the sexual exploitation of a student has been ordered to stand trial in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court.

Friday morning was the first time Krysta Grimes, 33, had attended provincial court alongside her lawyer since she was charged with the offence last year. A day-long preliminary inquiry had been scheduled for the matter but did not go ahead. Judge James Walsh committed Grimes to stand trial in Supreme Court and she is set to be arraigned next month.

Court documents allege Grimes, of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, used a part of her body to touch a part of the body of a boy for a sexual purpose between March 1 and June 30, 2018, while she was in a position of trust. She was suspended from teaching duties by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District in 2018 and, following an RNC investigation, was charged by police in August of last year. She has been ordered to have no communication with the complainant and to stay away from him.

There’s a publication ban on the identity of the teenage complainant in the case. Such a ban is mandatory in all cases of sexual assault and in cases involving children.

If convicted, Grimes is facing certain jail time: under the Canadian Criminal Code, there’s a minimum jail sentence of one year and a maximum of 14 years for sexual exploitation when the Crown chooses to proceed by indictment, which prosecutor Jacqueline MacMillan has in this case.

Grimes is represented by lawyer Ian Patey, who also represents C.B.S. elementary school principal Robin McGrath.

McGrath has been charged with four counts of assault and one count of uttering threats against special needs students and has pleaded not guilty; his trial in ongoing and will resume later this month.

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