Thursday, September 22, 2016

Teacher in Hamilton charged with child sexual assault

A teacher who police say worked at Columbia International College is facing child sexual abuse charges after a lengthy investigation by police.

Geoffrey Burnet, 48, of Kitchener is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching.

Burnet is charged in relation to what police call a "historical child exploitation investigation" around incidents they say are alleged to have occurred in Hamilton between January 2007 and December 2008.

Steven Saunders, principal at Columbia International College, said Thursday that Burnet was hired on a contract basis in 2014 following "a clean police and vulnerable sector screening report." The allegations do not relate to Columbia students, he said.

Columbia terminated Burnet's employment on Sept. 20 — the same day Burnet was arrested and charged.

"Columbia International College is cooperating with local police forces in their investigation of Mr. Burnet," Saunders said in a statement. "Columbia International College has been advised by local police that the charges against Mr. Burnet are not related to any Columbia International College students, or the college itself."

Burnet has also worked in the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, the Upper Grand District School Board and the Toronto District School Board.  (more...)

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