Witness: 'I was ashamed'
A pair of underwear, shared texts and a selfie were part of evidence produced Monday on the first day of the sexual assault trial of a Brantford high school teacher.
Shawn Oakes has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching involving a male student, who was the first to take the witness stand.
"He was one of my favourite teachers," the 18-year-old said.
He said he was 15 when Oakes invited him to go out for coffee but said he needed first to swing by his house to pick up something.
At Oakes's home, the teen said the teacher offered to serve drinks and invited him to "Netflix and chill," a euphemism for sex that the witness said he didn't understand at first.
He said that Oakes began flirting with him and putting his arm up the boy's shirt.
"He wasn't forcing me," said the witness.
"I was really nervous and, eventually, I did stop him. He kind of pushed a little bit and ... said he didn't want to do anything I didn't want to do."
The witness testified that Oakes later put his hand down the teen's pants.
"I gave in. He put his mouth on me and took his pants off and I didn't want to (reciprocate)."
The two went upstairs where Oakes played a piano and told the teen he could give him music lessons.
"He said he wanted me to come over again. He said I could have private vocal lessons, but I knew what he meant. He said not to tell anyone: 'Just keep this between you and me.'"
The witness said Oakes drove him home but dropped him off around the corner from his house.
"I was ashamed," he said.
"I wanted to pretend like nothing happened. He taught me lots about music and I really admired him."
Several days later, the witness told a parent what happened and they went to city police.
The court was shown the hour-long video of the witness's statement to an officer.
The witness later returned to be interviewed by police, providing one new fact. He said Oakes had shown him a naked selfie that another male student had sent to the teacher.
Assistant Crown attorney Ed Slater entered a selfie of the witness with Oakes that had been taken in the hallway of the teacher's home, several texts that the two had exchanged at a coffee shop a few days earlier and a pair of underwear police seized from the teenager to be tested for DNA.
Oakes's defence lawyer, Zach Kerbel, suggested that Oakes had only offered "free vocal lessons" because the teen said he couldn't afford private music lessons.
Kerbel asked the witness if he used the bathroom at Oakes's home. He said it was possible.
The lawyer suggested the teen had touched his penis to urinate and then washed and dried his hands on a guest towel. The teen said that was possible.
Kerbel asked the witness if he embraced values that believe homosexuality is wrong, which the teen said he does.
Kerbel will continue his cross-examination Tuesday.
Since his arrest on Oct. 29, 2015, Oakes has been assigned by the Grand Erie District School Board to work from home. As part of his bail conditions, Oakes is not allowed around children, aged 16 and younger.
Oakes also is charged with possession of child pornography but Slater said he has yet to determine if that charge will proceed as part of this trial.
When Oakes was arrested in 2015, the school board used a school message system to inform parents and posted a letter on the board's website.
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