Kelowna Law Courts. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Kelowna Law Courts. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

Judge to decide fate next month for former Vernon teacher accused of historic sex crimes

Anoop Singh Klair is charged with various sex crimes against children in the early 2000s

Judgement day has been scheduled for a former Vernon teacher accused of committing multiple sex crimes against children more than 20 years ago.

Anoop Singh Klair is charged with sexual assault with a weapon, three counts of sexual assault, and four counts of sexual interference — one with a child under 16 and three with children under 14. The alleged offences happened in Vernon between late-1999 and 2003.

His trial took place in Kelowna earlier this month. BC Supreme Court Justice Murray Blok is now scheduled to give his decision on the matter on April 19.

Klair’s defence counsel Nicholas Jacobs is fighting to have the case stayed for unreasonable delay.

During the last court appearance, Jacobs argued for a Jordan ruling, a Supreme Court of Canada decision that found trials in superior courts should conclude within 30 months. Klair was originally charged in the fall of 2018.

Jacobs insisted Crown did not take reasonable steps to expedite the court process and accused prosecutors of seeking new evidence “at the 11th hour,” pushing a case that was “teetering on the brink of unreasonable delay, over the edge.”

Crown argued the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in exceptional circumstances, causing delays across the board and issues with calling an out-of-province witness.

Documents sent to Black Press Media show Klair resigned from Vernon’s School District 22 in October 2018. In November 2018, he signed an undertaking with the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation not to teach until a matter before the commissioner was resolved. It is unclear whether the matter is related to his criminal charges.

READ MORE: Vernon teacher accused of sex crimes to discover fate in April

READ MORE: Alleged victim testifies about sexual assault in Vernon teacher’s trial

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