Waterloo Region Record
KITCHENER — A teenager in a necktie turned red Monday as he described an alleged sexual encounter with his teacher at a Cambridge high school.
Then 17 and in Grade 12, he testified, he downed about 10 bottles of beer when he went to the Kitchener home of Jacqueline Lavigne on a Saturday night in fall 2011.
"It would be a lot more awkward for me to go over there sober," he told Kitchener court.
Lavigne, 33, calmly and clearly pleaded not guilty to sexual exploitation — sex between an adult in a position of trust and a youth 16 or 17 — as her trial began in front of friends and family from both sides.
The teen, whose identity is protected by a court order, testified the encounter in her bedroom followed weeks of intimate chats on BlackBerry Messenger.
He said their cellphone text conversations began with talk about school and his future, then progressed to questions about how many girls he had slept with and if he found her attractive.
"There were discussions of myself and Ms. Lavigne possibly meeting to have sex," the teen said.
"Who started that discussion?" asked prosecutor Melissa Ernewein.
"Ms. Lavigne," he said.
Lavigne — who sat cross-legged in the accused's box while taking notes — has been suspended from Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School since the allegations came to light in early 2012.
The teen portrayed her as the aggressor throughout the relationship and during the half-hour they had oral sex and intercourse after he had been dropped off by two friends.
At one point, he said, she sent him a photograph of her breast and another suggestive picture of a hand down pants.
Court was also shown a video the teen made in the car as his friends drove him to her house.
There was loud music playing in the background and lewd conversation among the friends, who all allegedly knew the teen was going there to have sex with his teacher.
"They were in a sense trying to get me excited, pump me up," he testified.
The teen said that after their only encounter, he asked for help with school and Lavigne entirely wrote two essays for him, including one for religion class.
He said she also substantially wrote an essay for him for her own class.
"Today's youth are not getting the message that crime is not the path to choose," read a passage in that paper.
Despite her help, the teen was doing poorly in her class. Before exams to end the first semester in January, he said, he was told he was failing and got "angry."
"Fail me and I'll tell," he messaged Lavigne in class.
"Then do some work," she replied.
"You're f------ me over," he said.
Within a week of that exchange, after the teen had told more students about the alleged encounter, he was approached by the principal and disclosed what had allegedly happened.
"Why didn't you go to the principal sooner?" Ernewein asked.
"I was embarrassed," he said.
In cross-examination by defence lawyer William Markle, the teen struggled to provide details of his account and answered most questions with "I don't know" or "I can't remember."
He said he could not recall, for instance, what Lavigne said in messages to arrange the sexual encounter other than that her husband wouldn't be home until midnight.
"Anything at all you can tell us about the conversation?" Markle asked.
"No," the clean-cut teen said.
He testified he initially told police there was only one friend in the car on the way to Lavigne's house because it had slipped his mind that there were actually two.
The teen also said he's "not sure" why Lavigne allegedly sent him a photo of her breast and that he can't recall if he ever wrote the final exam in her course after she had left the school.
Lavigne, who is married with two young children, taught at the school for seven years. She also coached basketball and track and field.
Scheduled to last two weeks, the Superior Court trial was expected to resume Tuesday with continued cross-examination of the teen.