Former Petrolia teacher appeal of sexual exploitation conviction fails

Sarnia Courthouse

An Ontario Superior Court Justice has dismissed a former Petrolia teacher’s appeal of her sexual exploitation conviction and sentence. She’ll begin to serve her one year sentence Saturday.

Gillian Boere was convicted of one count of sexual exploitation last year after four encounters with a teenaged boy over the summer of 2019. Sexual exploitation charges are laid when a person is a position of trust or authority to a minor according to the Criminal Code.

Boere was an elementary school teacher in Petrolia but the teen was not her student. There is a publication ban on any evidence which might identify the teen including how they knew each other.

Court heard the encounters began after the break up of Boere’s marriage. Justice Deborah Austin found sexual touching had taken place in one incident and in another where there was intercourse. The teen distanced himself from Boere after having sex in the 34 year-old’s car in August.

Boere who had faced four charges was found guilty of the single count of sexual exploitation and was sentenced to one year in prison followed by a year of probation in August 2022. Boere immediately appealed the conviction.

This morning Superior Court Justice J. Macfarlane dismissed all of Boere’s arguments, including that she was not in a position of trust over the teen, and that the teen’s testimony wasn’t reliable.

Macfarlane also dismissed a constitutional argument raised by Boere’s lawyer over minimum sentencing saying it didn’t apply in this case.

Boere is to begin serving her sentence Saturday.

During the sentencing in Aug. 2022, Justice Austin said the 12 month jail sentence for Boere, “is necessary to send a clear message that teachers must respect a clear boundary, not only in relation to the students they directly teach, but also to those students who volunteer for in or around their classrooms or classroom activities, or preparation, in co-op, programs and field trips and coaching.”