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High school teacher charged with sexual assault of student, 17

A Toronto high school teacher has been charged with a single charge of sexual assault after a 17-year-old student complained to police of an incident that allegedly took place in February.

It was unclear whether the alleged incident occurred on the premises of Leaside High School, where Wayne Crooks is employed, or during school hours.

Accompanied by his lawyer, Mr. Crooks, 37, walked into the 53 Division police station and surrendered, Constable Tony Vella said.

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He was freed on an undertaking, with a first court appearance scheduled for May 27.

He has been suspended from Leaside, an arts-oriented school that provides students in Grades 9 through 12 with a semester program.

A supply teacher will be substituting for him, parents were told in a letter from the school principal, and officials will be holding an information session for them Thursday evening. Social workers, meanwhile, will be on hand to speak to students.

Separately, police in adjacent Peel Region have issued an arrest warrant for a 35-year-old Brampton man who is also accused of sexually abusing a juvenile.

Rodrigo Montesdeoca is wanted on charges of sexual assault, sexual interference and uttering threats. Police said arrangements had been made for Mr. Montesdeoca to turn himself in but that he did not comply.

He has been known to change his appearance by cutting and dieing his hair, Peel police added in a news release.

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At The Globe and Mail since 1982, in assorted manifestations, chiefly crime reporter, foreign correspondent and member of the Editorial Board, Tim is now retired. More

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