A Toronto high-school teacher has been charged with sexual offences involving at least two female students.
Christopher Parkin, who teaches at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute, was to appear in court Thursday morning. He is charged with one count of sexual assault and three counts of sexual exploitation.
According to the Toronto Police Service, the charges against the 40-year-old Mr. Parkin involved two different students.
There may be other victims, the police said.
Mr. Parkin is alleged to have sexually assaulted a student in the 2011 school year, the police said in a press release.
He is also alleged to have sexually exploited another female earlier this month, the police statement said.
Sexual exploitation is defined in the Criminal Code as a person in authority having sexual contacts with a young victim.
A year ago, Mr. Parkin was quoted in the media after he attended the funeral of a Forest Hill student, Mariam Makhniashvil. He expressed sympathy for her but said he had not taught her.
Mr. Parkin has been a member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers since 1997. According to the college’s records, he has degrees in physical education and education from the University of Toronto.
Forest Hill Collegiate’s principal Peggy Aitchison referred media calls to the Toronto District School Board.
TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird said a letter about Mr. Parkin’s arrest is being sent to parents and a meeting will be scheduled in the near future.
Mr. Parkin has worked for the TDSB since 1997 and taught physical education at Forest Hill since 1997, Mr. Bird said, declining to give more details.
Mr. Parkin is described in the school’s website as a co-ordinator of Forest Hill’s sports teams.
Past articles of the community paper My Town Crier identify a Chris Parkin as a past coach of the school’s football team.
Larry Harrison, an American coach who has conducted football clinics at Forest Hill, said Mr. Parkin came across as “a heck of a nice guy … Very positive, very confident, in-charge kind of guy ... This is breaking my heart.”
Mr. Parkin has been suspended with pay.