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Vernon teacher found not guilty in alleged affair with student

March 28th, 2012

CBC News is reporting a former British Columbia school teacher accused of sexually assaulting a Grade 7 student has been found not guilty on all charges.

Deborah Ashton, 47, was a teacher and basketball coach and faced five charges in connection with an alleged two-year affair the Crown argued started in 2002 when the boy was 12 years old and Ashton was 37.

In her ruling, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames told the court in Vernon while the relationship between Ashton and the student went far beyond a teacher-student or coach-student relationship and there could have been a sexual relationship, there was not enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

Ashton broke down in tears and her supporters in the gallery broke out in cheers when the verdict was announced.

She left the courthouse without speaking to the media, but later she posted a statement on her Facebook page thanking her supporters.

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