Former Paul Kane teacher gets five-year sentence for sex offences

Former Paul Kane teacher gets five-year sentence for sex offences

Former Paul Kane High School teacher Bryce Hughes pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual offenses Jan. 30 in St. Albert Provincial Court and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Former Paul Kane High School teacher Bryce Hughes has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to two counts of sex offenses.

Hughes, who was first charged by the St. Albert RCMP on March 31, 2022, was Paul Kane’s physical education and sports medicine teacher from 2016 until he was suspended by the school board in February last year. Hughes’ employment with St Albert Public Schools officially ended on April 30, 2022.

The Gazette reported last June that St Albert RCMP had charged Hughes with two more offenses after a second victim came forward.

On January 30, in St. Albert Provincial Court, Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation and one count of manufacture of child pornography, while the remaining charges were dropped. He did not speak during his performance.

The five-year sentence was a joint submission by prosecutor Morgan McClelland and defense attorney Peter Shipanoff. Hughes faces four years on sexual exploitation charges and the mandatory one-year minimum sentence for producing child pornography.

As part of the joint submission, the court heard an agreed statement of fact that accompanied Hughe’s guilty plea but was placed under a ban on publication.

Before Judge Gordon Putnam’s decision, McClelland told the court that the Crown believed a “reasonable sentence would be quite a bit higher,” but Hughes’ guilty plea and other mitigating factors, even under a publication ban, led to the recommended one five-year prison sentence.

“The damage spreads in the community in cases like this,” McClelland told the court, saying five years is the “lowest possible sentence that would be appropriate.”

In addition to the five-year sentence, Putnam ordered Hughes to be placed on the national sex offender registry for a 20-year period. have no contact with the victim; and a 25-year ban on contact with anyone under the age of 16, except with the permission of a parent or guardian and under the supervision of an aware adult of their charges.

Hughes also faces a 25-year ban from seeking or receiving employment or volunteering, which would mean putting him in a position of authority over anyone under the age of 16.

Hughes will serve his sentence at the Bowden Institution near Innisfail, Putnam said, so he will have access to sex offender rehabilitation programs.

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