Alberta teacher charged with sex assault placed on 'unassigned duties'
EDMONTON -- A Leduc high school teacher charged with sexual assault has been placed on unassigned duties, according to a school division letter sent to parents.
Fifty-four-year-old Aaron James Heinemann made his first appearance in a Leduc court room on Nov. 14.
The charge is related to an alleged incident in a community near Leduc in August 2017. The alleged victim is an adult and a court-ordered publication ban is in place to protect their identity.
Black Gold School Division originally told CTV on Nov. 15 that it was aware of the charge against Heinemann and confirmed he was still working at Leduc Composite High School.
On Thursday, the division sent a letter home to parents and guardians addressing the situation.
"You may have already heard in the news or through social media, but you should hear directly from the Black Gold School Division, that a Leduc Composite High School teacher has been charged with sexual assault," the division wrote.
"An allegation of misconduct was brought to the Division's attention in September 2017. As per our Administration Procedures, the Division’s Human Resource department investigated and found grounds for reprimand for inappropriate actions against another adult."
Black Gold School Division said an investigation led it to believe it was an "isolated incident."
In the letter, the division also said it made the decision to place the teacher on unassigned duties effective immediately.
"This will help to ensure that the focus at Leduc Composite High School remains on teaching and learning, while the judicial process runs its course," it said.
It closed out the letter saying parents with questions or concerns can contact Black Gold School Division at email@example.com.
However, when initially asked for comment by CTV on the charges against Heinemann two weeks ago, Black Gold School Division issued the following statement:
Based on your inquiry, I can confirm that our Human Resources department has confirmed that Aaron James Heinemann is currently employed at Leduc Composite High School and it is aware of the charges that have been laid which involve Mr. Heinemann.
You should also be aware that an internal investigation regarding this matter was carried out as per the Division's Administrative Procedures in 2017 and Black Gold is confident that no one is in harm’s way.
As this matter is before the courts, to avoid prejudicing the judicial process, Black Gold will not be commenting on this matter any further until it has been concluded.
The allegations against Heinemann have not been tested in court. His next court date is Dec. 12.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk.