In what is likely a final chapter in the decades-long saga of sexual abuse at Toronto's prestigious Upper Canada College, a retired science instructor who was once honoured for his innovative teaching methods was convicted yesterday on two counts of sexual assault.
The charges against Lorne Cook stemmed in large part from simulated kidney-transplant exercises he devised for his adolescent students -- experiments that in 1993 helped him secure the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence, rewarding achievements in education.
Yesterday, Mr. Cook's career ended in disgrace.
Free on bail since his arrest in 2004 on charges of fondling five former pupils, three of whom testified against him at trial, he stared grimly as Mr. Justice Brian Trafford read out a lengthy judgment that graphically described Mr. Cook's use of an imitation catheter in one of the mock kidney transplant sessions.
Mr. Cook's verdict is the latest in a string of old child-sex criminal cases at UCC. Last year, former teacher Douglas Brown, now 56, was sentenced to three years imprisonment for sexually assaulting six students during the mid-1970s.
In 2004, onetime teaching assistant Ashley Chivers, now 30, was convicted of possessing child pornography. Arrested a year earlier while still on staff, he initially escaped incarceration, in lieu of a conditional 18-month sentence, but was subsequently jailed for violating his terms of house arrest.
And there were other scandals.
Teacher Clark Noble left UCC in 1971 after a 17-year-old boy accused him of sodomizing him after getting him drunk at a private club. Rather than being prosecuted, Mr. Noble was allowed to leave quietly. He taught elsewhere and in 1997, was convicted of an assault on a boy at Appleby College in Oakville.
Most recently, in December, a 70-year-old former UCC house master was acquitted on six charges of assaulting a student under his care during the 1980s. The judge made plain he did not believe the former student's testimony.
As we have been reminded ad nauseum in the media, these scandals would not have occurred if the teachers had only been allowed to marry.
Source: Globe and Mail