Ottawa teacher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting student
Former Ottawa school teacher Kyla Cowan-Wilson pleaded guilty Friday to one count of sexual assault involving a 14-year-old student.
In a packed courtroom Cowan-Wilson entered her guilty plea in front of the victim, as well as his family, and several friends.
The name of the victim cannot be released because of a court-ordered publication plan to protect his identity.
According to the agreed statement of facts the victim was under the age of 13 when Cowan-Wilson, a teacher with the Ottawa Carleton District School Board at the time, became his athletic coach.
One year later she became his Grade 8 teacher - after requesting that he be in her class.
In a letter sent to the victim Cowan-Wilson stated that she knew she wanted him in her class and that he needed to be with her.
She would often drive the boy home from school, and offered to help him with his struggles with depression. The victim’s parents say their son was groomed before the assault took place.
After the boy graduated from Cowan-Wilson’s class, she asked if he could help coach basketball with her.
Cowan-Wilson would send text messages to the victim. This was followed by the exchange of intimate photos on Snapchat.
She would tell the boy not to send his genitalia as she did not want to see it before they had sex.
The victim was groped in Cowan-Wilson’s vehicle, where she would stop before intercourse. She told the victim she loved him, and that she was not happy in her marriage.
The victim, who is now 19-years-old, says following the guilty plea he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
“After years of fighting for my life, I have finally faced the demon who ruined me and stole my innocence,” he wrote in a statement.
He says at one point he considered taking his own life. Now, he wants to help others who may be fighting too.
“I can’t change what has happened to me, but I can take advantage of my tragedy to help others.”
Sentencing for Cowan-Wilson is expected to take place in September.