Former teacher found guilty of child luring involving one of his students

Andrea Gunn
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Jody Hale exchanged inappropriate messages with 14-year-old at central Newfoundland school

A former Central Newfoundland teacher has been found guilty of unlawfully luring a child — one of his students — using the Internet.

Jody Hale looked emotionless in provincial court at Grand Falls-Windsor today as Judge J. Jenkins, who appeared via video conference, read the verdict.

Evidence presented during the trial showed that Hale exchanged thousands of Facebook messages with a former student of his at Cottrell’s Cove Academy when she was 14 and he was 40 — between December 2011 and March 2012.

In the messages, he spoke about how he dreamed about kissing the student, played truth or dare with her, and said he loved her. He also brought treats to school for her, and made her a handmade Valentine containing lyrics to a song by Adele.

Hale’s defence lawyer maintained that, although he admitted some of the things he said were inappropriate, their relationship was a deep friendship that wasn’t sexual in nature, and maintained that the scope of their conversations included a variety of topics. He stated throughout the trial that Hale forgot the student was only 14.

Jenkins said in her verdict that Hale’s perception of the student’s emotional maturity was irrelevant. She called the exchanges between Hale and the student “beyond inappropriate” and said she believed he was fully aware of the sexual intent of the conversations, and that the student was uncomfortable with the subject matter.

Jenkins called Hale’s testimony evasive and self-serving, and said Hale’s actions were predatory, morally reprehensible, and obviously criminal in nature.

Hale will appear in court again on March 3 for a pre-sentence report.

Meanwhile, a second allegation of child luring against Hale is also before the courts. He is set to appear in court again for that matter Jan. 22.

 

agunn@advertisernl.ca

Organizations: Newfoundland school, Cove Academy

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  • JKB
    December 14, 2013 - 06:51

    Just wondering why this now convicted predator hasn't been remanded to custody prior to sentencing. He has been legally charged and convicted.....why isn't he in jail? We are letting him stay out for Christmas? Must be nice! The justice system boggled the mind!