Former Coquitlam substitute teacher found guilty of sexually assaulting Surrey girl

Lawyer for Aleksandr Plehanov says she'll challenge the mandatory minimum one-year sentence.

  • Jan. 13, 2016 11:00 a.m.

Former Coquitlam substitute teacher Aleksandr Plehanov was found guilty of sexually assaulting a six-year-old Surrey girl in March 2013.

by Sarah Payne, Tri-City News

Former Coquitlam substitute teacher Aleksandr Plehanov has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a six-year-old Surrey girl in 2013, just five months after he was acquitted on similar charges involving five young girls in the Tri-Cities.

Justice Murray Blok found Plehanov not guilty of touching a person under the age of 16 for a sexual purpose, however, in a decision issued on Friday at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

At his trial in October, the court heard Plehanov was with a friend and his family in Surrey on Easter Sunday in 2013 when the girl fell as she reached for some candy. As Plehanov caught her, he touched her pelvic area and buttocks and put his hand inside the front of her waistband.

Crown counsel argued the touching was not an unintended outcome of saving the girl from a fall but the defence, while acknowledging the touching did occur, said it was not for a sexual purpose.

The 2013 incident isn’t the first time Plehanov has been accused of touching a young girl inappropriately.

In 2010, Plehanov was charged with 10 counts of sexual interference of a person under 16 and sexual assault involving five girls in the Tri-Cities, all of whom were girls aged seven and eight and who were students in classes where he was a substitute teacher. A charge of criminal harassment was added later, when he was allegedly spotted in his car outside the home of one of the girls.

After a two-week trial in fall 2012, the judge acquitted Plehanov on all counts. Judge David St. Pierre said the Crown had not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Plehanov was anything but an ineffectual teacher who didn’t grasp the boundaries of student-teacher relationships.

Plehanov had been warned several times that some of his contact with children was inappropriate but St. Pierre said from the evidence presented during the trial it was impossible to say whether the contact was incidental or could be proven as criminal.

Plehanov’s next court appearance will be on Jan. 21 to fix a date for sentencing. Defence lawyer Lisa Jean Helps said she intends to challenge the constitutionality of the mandatory one-year minimum sentence for sexual assault of a person under 16.



Just Posted

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

VIDEO: ‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read