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Tania Pontbriand, Former Quebec Gym Teacher, Convicted Of Sleeping With Student

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Tania Pontbriand, in the beige suit, leaves the St. Jerome courthouse in 2011
Tania Pontbriand, in the beige suit, leaves the St. Jerome courthouse in 2011

A former gym teacher has been convicted of sexual assault, following claims from a 15-year-old student that they had sex more than 200 times.

Tania Pontbriand, who taught gym at a high school just outside of Montreal, was accused of having a romantic relationship with the teen between 2002 and 2004, when she was 32 the Toronto Sun reports.

In a 150-page judgment, cited by CTV News Montreal, Judge Valmont Beaulieu spurned the defence's argument that the student's testimony was unreliable

"The court is convinced that the accused used the victim to satisfy her own sexual needs, thus exploiting the victim's naiveté, his lack of maturity, his dependence and his trust while he was her student," he wrote.

"The accused dominated her victim who had become completely dependent on her, and trusted her blindly, isolating himself from his friends, losing interest for his studies and causing arguments with his mother."

The man, now in his 20s, told the court the pair first slept together on a camping trip in May 2002. They marked the occasion with dog tags that read, "BFF. Best Friends Forever. 19-05-02," according to The Canadian Press.

The boy filed a complaint against the teacher in 2007, and the mother of two was arrested in 2008.

A Facebook group called, "Support Tania Pontbriand" has gathered some 150 members, many of them former students.

"Unbelievable," wrote Jason Beck. "This was probably the best teacher I had in my entire life. It's funny to see this blown out of proportion just because she was a teacher. No one would have bat an eye otherwise!"

At another website, called Rate My Teachers, Pontbriand is described in glowing terms.

"I don't care what people say, she was very inspirational, motivational, understanding, helpful, and always ready to help improve ourselves," wrote someone claiming to be a former student.

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