Plehanov decision expected in the fall
A decision in the trial of Aleksandr Plehanov, a Coquitlam substitute teacher accused of sexually assaulting several students, will not be made until the fall.
After the defence and prosecution wrapped up their closing arguments on Wednesday afternoon, Judge David St. Pierre said he did not expect to have a verdict in the case until late September or early October.
He said that other trials he is overseeing and summer holidays meant the decision would take longer than usual.
Plehanov is facing five charges of sexual interference and five charges of sexual assault involving girls who were aged seven and eight at the time of the alleged incidents, which date back to January 2008. He is also facing a charge of criminal harassment in relation to a June 2010 incident, when he was alleged to have been spotted sitting in his car outside of one of the girl's homes.
Defence lawyer Lisa Helps has contended that Plehanov lacked classroom management skills and did not understand the boundaries between teachers and students.
She also stated during her closing submission that some of the testimony the court heard from the school-aged witnesses was not reliable.
More to come...
-with files from Sarah Payne