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B.C. teacher sex trial hears final submissions

03/27/2012 10:19 EDT | Updated 05/27/2012 05:12 EDT

A B.C. court will hear final submissions Tuesday in the case of a Vernon, B.C., teacher accused of having a sexual affair with her Grade 7 student.

Deborah Ashton has pleaded not guilty to five charges, including sexual assault and sexual interference.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames, who is judging the case without a jury, has heard testimony from more than a dozen witnesses in the trial.

Key among them was the alleged victim, now 22, who claims he and Ashton had intimate encounters more than 230 times over a two-year period, starting in 2002 when he was 12 years old.

His brother and friends also testified of the close relationship between the student and Ashton, then 37.

One friend told the court he saw Ashton and the student rolling around in a sleeping bag together during a school trip.

The Crown also called Ashton’s ex-husband, who said the marriage was crumbling at the time the alleged affair took place, and when Ashton had started buying thong underwear and condoms.

Ashton's lawyer, Terry La Liberte, accused the alleged victim of fabricating the story.

La Liberte also tried to point out inconsistencies in his testimony and in the evidence his friends gave. Ashton’s brother and Ashton’s daughter testified for the defence.

Ashton herself did not testify as she had in her first trial on the same charges in 2011, which ended in a hung jury.

Justice Beames is expected to deliver her verdict Wednesday.

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