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Brampton high school teacher charged with sexual exploitation

Last Updated Jun 16, 2017 at 3:39 pm EDT

Peel police cruiser logo. TWITTER/@PeelPoliceMedia

Police have charged a 53-year-old Brampton high school teacher with sexual exploitation, and it’s not the first time he’s faced such allegations.

Officers said they launched an investigation after learning of a relationship between the teacher and a 17-year-old student from Turner Fenton Secondary School.

They arrested Richard Knill, of Milton, on Thursday.

“Of course these charges are naturally disturbing,” Peel District School Board spokeswoman Carla Pereira said in an email. “We have been and are cooperating with police at this time, and offering support to the students and staff.”

Pereira said she couldn’t discuss personnel matters, but when allegations like this are brought forward, the employee is sent home with pay until the charges are resolved.

Once that happens, the board generally conducts its own investigation.

“We take all reports of inappropriate behaviour seriously and rely on board policies and operating procedures, collective agreements, legal input, professional standards and past practice, in deciding discipline outcomes,” Pereira said.

Discipline could include training, suspension with or without pay, transfer to another school or location, or termination.

The board hired Knill as an occasional teacher in 1991, and he earned a permanent position the following year. He also worked as a wrestling coach.

In November 2003, the Ontario College of Teachers disciplined him for kissing a female student and sexually touching another in his car on two separate occasions, when he taught at Meadowvale Secondary School and Bramalea Secondary School.

A committee found him guilty of professional misconduct and suspended him for two months. The panel ordered him to take part in training on “boundary issues” and see a psychiatrist.

His membership status was restored to “good standing” the following March.

Knill was due in court on Friday in connection with the most recent allegations.