Sex with teen lands ex-teacher in jail

Brett Nelson sentenced to two years less a day

A 52-year-old former teacher convicted of sexual offences was sentenced a third time Tuesday to another two years in jail after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

That girl, whose name is protected under a court order, is at the heart of Brett Nelson's most recent two offences.

Last year, Nelson pleaded guilty to luring the then-14-year-old girl, along with a second girl, via chats and text messaging. He did not have face-to-face contact with either. The provincial court judge who sentenced Nelson in January 2012 called it "grooming" the two teens.

In facts outlined in B.C. Supreme Court, Nelson admitted to messaging the girl, now 15, after he was released from prison last year. He served six months of a nine-month sentence.

He returned to Kamloops and "not long after that there was contact," Crown lawyer Will Burrows told the court.

Burrows said the girl, who lives in a foster home and has been the victim in several sexual offences involving adult men, contacted Nelson through Facebook. He was listed by an alter ego, the same one he used before going to prison.

Soon after Nelson said he wanted to meet her.

Burrows said the girl's foster mother intercepted her before they could meet outside Liquidation World in North Kamloops.

But Nelson contacted her again, in mid-December last year, and the two agreed to meet in front of Tim Hortons in Brocklehurst.

"He winked at her, bought himself a coffee and went outside," Burrows said.

The two chatted and got into Nelson's car. Approaching the house, "he told her to duck down and pulled into the garage."

Soon after going inside, the two had sex. Nelson later dropped her off at a bus loop.

Nelson had sex with her again, at a flooring store where he was employed.

"It was Christmas and his wife would be home for the holidays," Burrows said of the reason for intercourse at Nelson's workplace.

Nelson also told the girl he had to be careful because "his wife 'kept him on a short leash,'" Burrows said.

Nelson's wife was in the courtroom. She has defended Nelson's actions in past.

"He's separated as a result of this incident," Bruneau said during sentencing submissions. "His wife is in court and still supports him. She considers him family but they have separated."

The sexual offences stopped after a friend of the girl walked up to a parked RCMP cruiser in January and reported to the officer the girl was being victimized. Police traced contact through chat and text logs.

Burrows said messages indicated Nelson was worried about being caught. At one point he told her they should go separate ways and meet again when she turned 18.

"He was aware she was 15," the prosecutor said.

Nelson was first convicted in 2004 for sexual exploitation after he engaged in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl who had been his student.

Nelson taught for about two years.

He was sentenced Tuesday by Justice Hope Hyslop to two years in jail less a day - allowing him to serve time in a provincial prison - for sexual interference with a minor and breaching a term of his probation that he not contact her.

Nelson will also be bound by three years of probation. Terms include that he not have contact with minors or the victim and her friends, be near schools or playgrounds or have access to the internet or a cell phone.

Hyslop also recommended he serve his time at Ford Mountain Correctional Facility, a medium-security jail, after it was suggested by Bruneau for rehabilitation.

The defence lawyer said Nelson was severely depressed after his release from jail, something not helped by medication. He claimed the girl contacted him.

"He tells me, and it's not an excuse, he started receiving messages from her. . She's a young woman with problems of her own. She's been before the courts as the 'victim' of others. I'm not sure what her agenda was. But Mr. Nelson is at fault and he's not shirking responsibility."

Nelson must also register as sex offender with authorities. He told Hyslop he is remorseful and takes responsibility for his actions.

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