Published on: February 8, 2018 | Last Updated: February 8, 2018 4:48 PM EST
Former teacher Jessica Beraldin, who now uses her maiden name, Fiore, leaves the Ottawa courthouse on Friday April 1, 2016. Errol McGihon / Postmedia
Disgraced Ottawa teacher Jessica Beraldin has been spared jail after admitting she had a sexual relationship with one of her students.
The teacher, who now uses her maiden name Jessica Fiore, stood in court Thursday and said she was deeply sorry for exploiting the teen boy and pleaded guilty to sexual assault. In a tearful apology, Fiore said her marriage was falling apart and she sought “support and affection in the wrong places.”
“I am very disappointed in myself,” she told court, noting that she had taken advantage of her position of trust.
Fiore was spared jail and instead granted a six-month conditional sentence and 18 months of probation.
Her teaching career is over and she is prohibited from being around boys under 18. She is now on the sex offender registry. Before leaving the Elgin Street courthouse Thursday, she was ordered to submit a DNA sample.The court recognized that her guilty plea spared the victim and his family what would have been a graphic trial.
Fiore’s family — including her father, a retired Ottawa police sergeant — attended Thursday’s sentencing hearing as a strong show of support. They also filed letters of support that spoke of their disappointment and their confidence that she’ll rebuild her life.
The plea deal that spared the teacher jail was a joint position by the Crown and the defence lawyer.
According to Ottawa police, the sex crimes case dates back to July 5, 2014. Fiore was arrested in 2016 and was 30 at the time.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board said at the time of her arrest that it was deeply sorry to learn of the news. It also said it regretted that such conduct occurred at one of its schools, urged students not to speculate about the case on social media and said it would pray “for all the persons affected by this difficult situation.”
Fiore is considered a very low risk to re-offend, according to a doctor’s report filed in court.
Ottawa teacher Jessica Beraldin sentenced for sexually assaulting student
Beraldin taught at Mother Teresa High SchoolCBC News
Posted: Feb 08, 2018 1:27 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 08, 2018 2:37 PM ET
Jessica Beraldin has been handed a six-month conditional sentence with 18 months probation for sexually assaulting a student. (Judy Trinh/CBC)
An Ottawa teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a student was handed a six-month conditional sentence with 18 months probation Thursday.
In 2016, Jessica Beraldin was charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation and making sexually explicit material available to a child.
Jessica Beraldin, Ottawa teacher, accused of sexually assaulting student
She pleaded guilty last year to the sexual assault charge. The other two charges were withdrawn.
During the investigation police said the assault happened while Beraldin was employed by the Ottawa Catholic School Board.
Beraldin taught students from Grades 7 to 9 at Mother Teresa High School.
The assault occurred at the school during business hours, according to Ottawa Police Const. Chuck Benoit.
The court ordered her to have no in-person contact with the victim, electronically or through social media. She was also told not to go near parks or any place where children under 16 are present, unless her surety is with her.
Along with the conditional sentencing and probation released Thursday, Beraldin will be on the sexual offender registry for 10 years and must submit her DNA to authorities.