Toronto high school teacher Colin Ramsay pleaded guilty to luring an underage student by exchanging texts and sexual images during a school year that spanned more than 2,000 pages.
His goal, the judge found, was to prepare her for later sex Contact.
“This is not about Mr. Ramsay not getting the memo. He instructed her not to tell anyone about their relationship. Although he undoubtedly rationalized, “deep down, Mr. Ramsay knew what he was doing was wrong and why it was wrong,” Ontario Court Justice John McInnes wrote in a recent ruling.
But McInnes refused to impose the minimum six-month prison sentence required by the Criminal Code; He agreed with Ramsay’s lawyer – as well as the decisions of three fellow judges – and ruled that it violated the Charter.
Instead, the judge relented him two years less one day of strict house arrest.
According to the agreed statement of facts, Ramsay, now 48, knew the student was going through a difficult time in her life and they initially communicated via text message about her class work and later about their personal problems.
In December 2019 they met for coffee.
In January 2020, they met three to four times for walks, coffee or meals at nearby restaurants, with their teacher instructing them “not to tell anyone.”
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Between January and February 2020, Ramsay performed “fighting/wrestling games” with her in front of her classmates sexual innuendos in front of her
boyfriend at the time and invited her to dinner.
They then began meeting at least once a week, with Ramsay placing his hand on hers when they ate at a restaurant.
Between mid-March and mid-June 2020, Ramsay stayed in touch daily via text messages and phone calls. According to the agreed statement, some of his Conversations with his student were “sexually charged” and Ramsay sent her sexually suggestive images of lingerie, sex toys and a bar chart depicting male and female sex drives.
He also gave her gifts and repeatedly told her via text message that she was “hot” and “sweet.”
McInnes noted that Ramsay had a plan and was using his lyrics to achieve it “Increase the frequency and intimacy of his interactions with her to test the increasingly sexualized interaction with her and thus gradually add a sexualized undertone to his relationship with her.”
Luckily she interrupted him. She stopped texting him and answering his calls in mid-June. She reported his behavior and in July 2020 her teacher was arrested.
“Ramsay admits that he sent the text messages and communicated with her to facilitate sexual activity with her when she was under 18 years old,” the agreed statement concludes.
Even if there was ultimately no sexual contact, the judge said, the teenager had suffered “significant harm.”
She needs medication now Anxiety and PTSD “just to be able to leave the house and function every day.”
She told the court she lost friends and ended up switching to an online school because she “became ostracized when everyone found out what had happened and some people were really judgmental.”
She felt ashamed and embarrassed, as if she “should have seen it coming and known better, even though I now know it wasn’t my fault.”
No, it was his.
Ramsay has been a high school teacher since 2007. The court noted that he is remorseful and struggles with depression and depression social isolation.
“Depression and loneliness help explain why Mr. Ramsay did what he did, but they do not even excuse or mitigate it,” McInnes wrote.
“He literally stole someone else’s happiness to replenish his own supplies. And he did this persistently over a period of months, during which time he had both the ability and the opportunity to recognize the harmfulness of his behavior and to stop it.”
After the judge found that the mandatory minimum sentence of six months was “ineffective”, he decided on a conditional sentence of two years less per day for the first offender – in part because he is his brother’s sole carer.
House arrest instead of prison for a suspected predator?
The judge was sure that a ““A reasonable, informed and rational person” would agree that this was punishment enough. We’re not so sure.