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Former P.E.I. music teacher's sexual exploitation case now in judge’s hands

Former high school music teacher Roger Jabbour stands outside the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown Friday after a judge found him guilty of three sex offences.
Former high school music teacher Roger Jabbour stands outside the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown. -File photo

The Crown argues a woman alleging sexual exploitation at the hands of her former music teacher gave “clear, cogent and compelling’’ evidence during a three-day trial in provincial court in Charlottetown.

In her closing arguments Tuesday, Crown attorney Valerie Moore said the complainant gave straightforward and truthful testimony with no attempt to embellish.

Roger James Jabbour, a music teacher for 33 years at Colonel Gray High School, is on trial before a judge alone on two counts of sexual exploitation arising from alleged incidents between April 1991 and February 1992. He is alleged to have, while in a position of trust, touched a student and also direct her to touch him for a sexual purpose.

The complainant, now 44, testified Friday that Jabbour kissed her on many occasions, masturbated in front of her and even put his hand on her hand to “teach me how it’s done.’’

Related: Retired P.E.I. music teacher Roger Jabbour denies former student’s sex allegations

Moore noted in her summation that Jabbour’s defence lawyer Joel Pink did not challenge the complainant directly on any of her allegations, nor, added Moore, was any evidence provided as to the complainant having motive to fabricate her allegations.

Pink focused in his closing remarks on trying to undermine the credibility of the complainant in pushing for a not guilty verdict.

“Credibility will be an important factor for your Honour to consider,’’ he told Chief Provincial Court Judge Nancy Orr.

He called the complainant’s testimony “a gross fabrication.’’

Pink placed great attention on the fact the complainant testified that she never wanted to hear from or see Jabbour again once she graduated from Colonel Gray, only to see him three days later at a graduation party and to go on to write several friendly letters to him over the next three years.

Pink said the letters, which included the complainant writing Jabbour that she “may see him after all’’ and signing one off with “hugs and kisses’’ show her testimony was nothing but a fabrication.

Moore countered the letters suggest nothing of the sort. They do not, she stressed, in any way clear Jabbour of the charges.

She argued the correspondence after graduation was no more than “superficial chatty letters’’ that the complainant did not recall writing, but did not deny writing.

“These are not love letters,’’ said Moore. “These are not letters saying ‘I’m glad you didn’t sexually abuse me’.’’

Moore noted there was no contact between Jabbour and the complainant over the past 23 years.

She said the complainant’s perspective on what Jabbour did to her changed over time. Moore noted the woman came to realize that she was a victim and was not to blame for what happened.

Moore also spent considerable time in her closing argument highlighting similarities between Jabbour’s conduct with the complainant and that of other complainants in a recent trial in which Jabbour was found guilty on two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual interference.

Orr will deliver her decision Nov. 2.

Related: Former P.E.I. music teacher Roger Jabbour guilty of three sex-related offences

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