Former N.S. teacher apologizes in court for sex crimes against students
Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 7:35PM ADT
A word of caution that some details below are explicit.
Former teacher Amy Hood, who taught at an elementary school in Nova Scotia’s Pictou County, has expressed remorse and regret in court for committing sex crimes against former students.
On Thursday, Hood acknowledged she abused her position of trust when she shared sexually explicit images with two former students and performed oral sex on one of the teenage boys.
In April, Hood was convicted of luring, sexual exploitation and sexual interference.
Some of the statement Hood read in court on Thursday includes:
"I am sickened that I have hurt so many people through this experience.It is something I will feel regret for every day of my life."
To the victims’ parents she said:
"This was nothing you could have prevented. You placed your trust in a person who abused that trust."
Hood faces a minimum one-year sentence. The defence says the penalty violates Hood’s Charter Rights.
“We feel that it is grossly disproportionate to what the sentence should be for this type of crime,” says defence lawyer Joel Pink.
The Crown is seeking a four-year prison term.
“Our children go to school, they are entrusted to teachers,” says Crown prosecutor Bill Gorman. “This is a person who was in a sensitive position. She made a decision and decided to breach trust.”
In 2013, a psychiatrist diagnosed Amy Hood with bipolar disorder. The defence argues that the condition clouded Hood's judgement at the time of the crimes.
“A person who has no mental illness, who is ‘normal’ so called, their moral blameworthiness is higher than a person who is affected by mental illness,” says Pink.
The defence is seeking a conditional sentence. They say the mother of three has been punished already by losing her job, marriage and being publicly humiliated through magazine articles.
The victims, who were 15 and 17 at the time, did not enter victim impact statements.
“The two victims were apprised of their right, they considered it, but then declined at the end of the day,” says Gorman.
The judge must now determine what role, if any, her mental illness played in committing the crimes when considering her sentence.
Hood will be sentenced Dec. 14.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl.