Sebastian Bron – Spectator Reporter
A Hamilton Catholic high school teacher has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars for sexually assaulting four former students over a 13-year period.
Brian Boylewho worked at Bishop Ryan Catholic High School when he was charged last year, pleaded guilty on September 15 to four counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual interference.
In addition to his sentence of approximately two and a half years in prison, Boyle54, was added to the list of registered sex offenders and given a lifetime ban from working with children under 16.
The assaults on the four students took place between 2002 and 2015, were heard in court, and in various settings, including Boyle’s own classroom and car, a victim’s basement, a bar from the village of Hess and a cinema.
In an agreed statement of facts, the court heard Boyle “groom” his vulnerable victims, first luring them in with his “cool young teacher” charm before sexually and emotionally exploiting them through flirting and groping.
A student said he texted Boyle regularly after he caught her using a phone in class. The posts became increasingly sexual in nature, she said, and Boyle began commenting on her appearance more frequently.
Once, when she was 17, she stayed after school and Boyle closed the door. Wearing a school uniform kilt, the court heard Boyle, then 35, ask her to sit on his desk before rubbing her legs and thighs.
“He told her how badly he wanted to have sex with her and couldn’t wait until she was 18,” according to the agreed statement of facts.
Two months later, when the victim was 18, she was home alone and texted Boyle to come over. They had sex – something the court heard continued to happen during breaks in the school day.
The court heard Boyle communicate with multiple victims via instant message, text and email. He used sexually explicit language in these communications, including one where he talked to a student about anal sex.
Other examples in the Agreed Statement of Facts regarding the teacher’s behavior included unwanted sexual advances on school property or at extracurricular events.
One victim recalled walking up the stairs at school during exam season when she was confronted by Boyle, who held out his arm and stopped her from moving. He tried to kiss her but she ran away, the court heard.
Another victim reported Boyle driving her home after a school-sanctioned fundraising event. Without notice, he pulled into an empty parking lot and began “kissing her, rubbing her breasts and vaginal area”, the court heard.
Two students read victim impact statements for the court and two others were read by the Crown.
The victims – whose names cannot be released due to a publication ban – described how Boyle’s assaults haunted their lives and left them vulnerable in the presence of male teachers.
One woman spoke of confiding in Boyle because he was “admired by everyone” and “made me feel safe”. Then came the comments about her appearance, the text messages, the touching in class.
“I still have nightmares,” she said, later referring to the fears she now harbors for her own children. “How will I ever know they can go to school and it won’t happen to them?”
A second victim said her sexual interactions with Boyle left her with a skewed perception of relationships.
“The emotional impact on my life cannot be overstated,” she said. “I was so unlovable that I could only prove I was worthwhile by sexually satisfying someone else.”
Another victim added: “I shouldn’t have to feel your guilt or bear your shame, but I do.”
Prior to sentencing, Boyle addressed his victims and apologized, saying he blames no one but himself.
“I know what I did was wrong and I’m so sorry,” he said. “Nothing that happened was your fault… As a teacher, you should have been able to trust me.” I failed in that regard and I hate myself for it.
Judge Joe Fiorucci said he was encouraged by Boyle’s appeal and his willingness to rehabilitate, but noted that “no sentence of any length can undo the harm” caused by his actions.
Resources for survivors of sexual violence:
SACHA (Sexual Assault Centre, Hamilton and Area): 24 hour helpline 905-525-4162; sacha.ca.
Children’s Aid Society — Intake Line: (905) 522-1121.
Catholic Children’s Aid Society — Intake Line: (905) 525-2012.
SAVIS (Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Services of Halton): 905-875-1555.
Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Center at Hamilton Health Sciences: 905-521-2100 ext. 73557.