Sunday, February 5, 2017

Teacher guilty of Northumberland County sex crime returns to Cobourg court

NORTHUMBERLAND — A former teacher and church volunteer who once lived in Northumberland County was recently found guilty of sexual exploitation and returns to Cobourg court for sentencing on Feb. 22.

Matthew Dale Palmer, 49, currently of the Owen Sound area, was found guilty by a jury Oct. 21 of sexually exploiting a local teenage girl on seven occasions from 1996 to 1999, beginning when the girl was 14. He lived in Northumberland at the time of the offences.

The Criminal Code of Canada states that sexual exploitation is when a person in a position of trust or authority touches or invites a minor to touch the person in a sexual manner.

Palmer appeared for sentencing in a Cobourg courtroom on Friday, Jan. 27, where Justice Christopher Corkery rescheduled his decision to Feb. 22 after hearing a full day of closing remarks from the Crown and Palmer’s defence counsel.

The Crown is seeking nine months in jail with 18 months probation.

The defence is seeking a 12-month conditional sentence to be spent under house arrest.

“This is the type of offence that deserves jail time,” Crown attorney Deirdre Bryant said.

At the time of Palmer’s arrest on Aug. 27, 2014, the complainant alleged seven incidents of sexual touching occurred at various locations over a period of about two-and-a-half years. Court heard that those included during a trip to Washington, on a bus ride, and watching Sound of Music in the complainant’s basement. The incidents of sexual touching included, 'heavy petting,' 'groping' of genital areas and 'kissing and embracing.'  (more...)


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