CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A former P.E.I. music teacher was found guilty Friday of three sex offences involving former students while he was in charge of the band at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown.
Roger James Jabbour appeared before Judge John Douglas in provincial court in Charlottetown for a decision several weeks after a trial on three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual interference and two counts of sexual exploitation.
Douglas found Jabbour guilty on two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual interference.
He found Jabbour not guilty of sexual assault and gave a conditional stay on the remaining charges.
During the trial, Douglas heard testimony from the three victims who were all in the Colonel Gray High School band at the time of the offences.
They told of time spent alone with Jabbour in his office where he would touch them and make comments about their clothing.
When the contact started, two of the victims were 15 and the other was 14.
In one case, a victim testified Jabbour pulled her into his lap where she could feel his erect penis as she straddled him.
That same victim said Jabbour told her he loved her and that society wouldn’t recognize their love.
The court heard testimony about Jabbour sending emails to two of the victims through a personal Gmail account instead of his work account.
In another instance, Jabbour went to one of the girls’ home to watch a movie with two of them while her parents were out.
All three of the victims eventually left the band program.
“His total denial of inappropriate conduct and contact undermines greatly his credibility as a witness.”
-Judge John Douglas
Jabbour denied any inappropriate conduct or that there was ever any sexual intent to his actions, but Douglas said he didn’t believe Jabbour’s version of events.
“His explanation I find to be implausible.”
Douglas said even if he limited his consideration to just the acts and behaviours Jabbour admitted to, there wasn’t anything typical about his relationship or conduct with the three victims.
“His total denial of inappropriate conduct and contact undermines greatly his credibility as a witness,” Douglas said.
Douglas said he didn’t find any evidence of collusion or collaboration between the victims, and one of the complainants was initially reluctant to come forward.
All of the victims were credible, Douglas said.
On the three sexual assault charges, Douglas said he had a lingering doubt and found Jabbour not guilty.
Douglas said he had no such doubt about the sexual purpose and intent of Jabbour’s contact with the victims when it came to the sexual exploitation and sexual interference charges.
Jabbour will be back in court Nov. 2 when his lawyer Joel Pink will argue the mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail he is facing is unconstitutional.
Pink also requested a pre-sentence report before sentencing.
Jabbour also has a trial scheduled for Sept. 14 on two counts of sexual exploitation involving a fourth complainant.