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UPDATE: Former P.E.I. music teacher Roger Jabbour acquitted on most recent sex charges

Former high school music teacher Roger Jabbour leaves the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown after being acquitted on sex-related charges dating back more than 25 years.
Former high school music teacher Roger Jabbour leaves the provincial courthouse in Charlottetown after being acquitted on sex-related charges dating back more than 25 years. - Terrence McEachern

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - A former P.E.I. music teacher who was facing charges for two alleged sex offences involving a student walked out of provincial court Friday with acquittals.

But, Roger James Jabbour is still awaiting sentencing on three other charges related to his time as the band teacher at Colonel Gray High School in Charlottetown.

Jabbour appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in Charlottetown to hear her decision after a trial on two charges of sexual exploitation.

Those allegations dated back to a period between April 1991 and February 1992.

In her decision, Orr said she found the complainant was a credible witness who was being honest with her testimony.

But, Orr also said she wasn’t satisfied the woman’s evidence was sufficiently reliable.

That left Orr with reasonable doubt about what happened.

In September, provincial court Judge John Douglas found Jabbour guilty on two counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual interference involving three different former students.

When the contact started in those cases, two of the victims were 15 and the other was 14.

Jabbour has yet to be sentenced on those matters.

Chief Judge Nancy Orr
Chief Judge Nancy Orr

During Jabbour’s trial before Orr, the court heard testimony from the complainant and Jabbour who took the stand in his own defence.

Orr ruled during the trial that she could consider similar evidence from the original three complainants.

On Friday, Orr said testimony she heard about Jabbour getting angry, calling the complainant into his office alone and treating her as a confidante was supported by evidence from the victims in the other trial.

As Orr reviewed the evidence, she said assessing witness credibility was the primary issue, and it was not a matter of accepting the evidence of one side over the other.

With Jabbour’s evidence, Orr said she found he was hesitant, vague on many matters, he contradicted himself at times and he was argumentative.

She didn’t find him to be a credible witness and Orr said she didn’t believe his evidence.

In assessing the complainant’s testimony, Orr said her evidence was clear, she wasn’t argumentative or evasive and she didn’t appear to embellish.

Orr said another of the aspects of the case she had to consider was the complainant’s communication with Jabbour after she graduated from high school.

The woman testified she had no further contact with him after graduation. Orr also said the complainant gave a very specific description to the police about a confrontation with Jabbour during which she told him she didn’t want any more contact.

During the trial, however, the defence presented five letters the complainant sent Jabbour over several years after graduation. The complainant testified she had no memory of writing them.

Orr said it was clear the complainant didn’t remember writing the letters.

In considering the letters, Orr said there is no accepted standard for how a victim of sexual assault can or should act and they did not affect the complainant’s credibility.

The issue was that the letters showed the complainant was clearly wrong about how she ended things with Jabbour, Orr said.

Orr questioned how the reliability of the complainant’s evidence on that matter impacted the rest of her evidence.

In acquitting Jabbour, Orr said she wasn’t satisfied the complainant’s evidence was sufficiently reliable.

Jabbour will be back in court Dec. 18 for sentencing on the matters still before Douglas.

Publication bans prevent the release of any details that could identify the victims in any of the cases.

Twitter.com/ryanrross

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

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