By The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG – A former Winnipeg educational assistant is on trial accused of having sex with a high school student.
Sheryl Dyck is alleged to have started a relationship in March 2014 with a teenage boy whom she supervised at Elmwood High School.
A publication ban prevents identifying the student who was 16 when the relationship is said to have begun.
Winnipeg police accused Dyck of giving the youth drugs and alcohol during a seven-month period, which investigators say included several sexual encounters.
But defence lawyer Gisele Champagne has argued that the student made up the story because he and Dyck did not get along at school.
Champagne said the two had had arguments and the teen would lash out at Dyck — even going as far as throwing a desk during one confrontation.
The lawyer suggested that the teen wanted Dyck gone and that there had never been any sex.
“That’s not the case. It did happen,” he replied in court Tuesday.
He pointed to his 17th birthday when the two allegedly had sex after a night of drinking and drug use.
Champagne also brought up the man’s lengthy criminal history dating back to 2010. He has been in and out of jail, but said he has turned his life around and works with children.
He told court that at the time of the relationship he didn’t want to tell anyone what was going on.
“I got free weed, free alcohol. I was able to drive this nice Impala. I was able to do a lot of things like that.”
Surveillance footage shown to Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Richard Saull appears to show Dyck with the teen as they buy two bottles of alcohol from a liquor store in October 2014.
Court heard the young man’s sister found out about the relationship in late 2014 and told their mother, who complained to school officials.
The teen was persuaded by his mother to file a police report. Dyck was eventually arrested, but remains free on bail.
She was suspended by the Winnipeg School Division and is unemployed, Champagne said.
The trial is expected to last throughout the week.