Lantzville principal who sent sexual messages to person posing as minor can’t teach for 15 years 

Lantzville principal who sent sexual messages to person posing as minor can't teach for 15 years 

Content warning: The following contains details of conversations of a sexual nature between an adult and another person posing as a minor.

A private school principal on Vancouver Island has been banned from teaching for 15 years after he admitted to sending messages, some with sexual content, to a person claiming to be a minor, says the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation.

A consent resolution agreement published on Aug. 8 states that Mark Pierotti, the former principal of Aspengrove School in Lantzville, also arranged to meet with the person, a male, who told Pierotti he was only 15 years old. 

The male, however, was “an adult man posing as the youth to ‘catch’ sexual predators,” according to the agreement decided on July 27.

It was in August 2022 when Pierotti used the dating app Grindr to contact the male, whose profile listed him as 21 years old. Pierotti sent the message “Hello there sexy” and invited the male to come over for a drink, and the male replied that he was 15.

The agreement says Pierotti then asked the male if he was “for real.” The two continued exchanging messages, including messages sent from Pierotti like “I’m guessing u have hooked up w older guys before.”

The principal told the male he was “…crazy horned up since the guy cancelled last night so don’t want this to be uncomfortable. Might be so maybe it’s not good.” He also said, “So the age of consent is 16 in bc. Just need to know you are 16 or older,” and the male replied he would be “16 in like 4 months.”

Caught on video

It was minutes after Pierotti sent the message “I’m on my way we can talk and go from there” when the male approached him at a pre-arranged meeting place.

“Pierotti was sitting in his car and drove away as the Person came up to the window on the driver’s side while recording the car and Pierotti with his phone,” reads the agreement. “The Person posted on a Facebook site both the messages and the video recording of approaching Pierotti in his car.”

In late August 2022, the video was posted to the Facebook group “South Island Predator Publishing” by Justin Bruce, who revealed himself as the person pretending to be the 15 year old. Bruce’s video of the meetup shows the man speeding away.

On Tuesday, Bruce told CHEK News the disciplinary action felt like vindication for his work.

“Finally getting some action instead of just shaming someone on Facebook. Like actually having some results,” said Bruce, a Nanaimo resident.

No job or criminal charges

Pierotti was terminated from Aspengrove on Aug. 27, 2022, when the K-12 school’s board chair, Iain McIver, subsequently issued a statement to CHEK News saying “any form of violence, sexual abuse, intended or actual online exploitation and/or harassment will not be tolerated.”

READ ALSO: Nanaimo-area private school fires principal over allegations of ‘inappropriate online activity’

The statement said the school immediately notified the RCMP and fired Pierotti before informing parents in the community. Former head of school Jo-Anne Kingstone stepped in to serve as interim principal.

On Sept. 12, 2022, the school made a report regarding Pierotti to the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation. Pierotti relinquished his certificate of qualification about a week later, on Sept. 20. 

According to the agreement, Pierotti confessed that the facts stated in the agreement were true. He also agreed that for 15 years, he cannot be issued authorization to teach in the kindergarten to grade 12 education system.

“Pierotti admits that the conduct described in … this Agreement constitutes conduct unbecoming and is contrary to Standard #2 of the Professional Standards for BC Educators, June 2019,” it states.

“After being told that the Youth was 15 years old, Pierotti continued to send messages, some with sexual content, and also arranged to meet the Youth. Pierotti was aware of the age of consent and that sexual activity with a 15 year old would be criminal in nature.”

On Tuesday, court records showed no criminal charges against Pierotti.

The full agreement is here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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