The trial of a former Shawnigan Lake teacher accused of having sex with a student began in a Duncan Courtroom Thursday.
Andrew Olson faces six charges, ranging from child luring to assault and sexual exploitation, for incidents dating back to December 2014 and March of 2015, and were all allegedly committed against one female student when Olson worked at the Internationally renowned Shawnigan Lake School.
Dressed in a dark pinstripe suit for the first day of his trial, Andrew Olson still looks the part of the revered teacher at the acclaimed Shawnigan Lake School. But the sexual allegations he’s facing have ripped him of anything resembling his old life.
The incidents that led to this trial allegedly took place between December 2014 and March of 2015 when the victim was a student at the school and Olson was a resident house director there, living on campus with his wife. Effectively a live in teacher in charge of a house of students who board at the school. A position that in testimony at trial Deputy Head Master at Shawnigan Lake School, Barry Welsh described as critical for the strict school that manages 500 students in grades 8 to 12 to be successful. “House directors are the most important member of staff in my view” he testified.
“We take over the role of guardianship or parent for the school year,” said Welsh.
Olson’s position of authority is at the centre of the trial that is expected to take three days, and hear from witnesses including doctors, Olson’s colleagues and the teenage girl who is accusing him. However the crown successfully argued on her behalf today to allow the girl now suffering anxiety attacks, to be allowed to submit video testimony instead of having to share a courtroom with the accused.
Olson was immediately placed on leave from Shawnigan Lake School when the RCMP began their investigation and he is no longer employed there. Andrew Olson has plead not guilty to all charges against him.