Court dismisses former teacher's appeal of convictions for sexual exploitation and sexual assault

Noel Strapp's appeal was dismissed in a Court of Appeal decision Tuesday. (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)
Noel Strapp's appeal was dismissed in a Court of Appeal decision Tuesday. (Ted Dillon/CBC - image credit)

Former teacher and coach Noel Strapp has had the appeal of his sexual exploitation and sexual assault convictions dismissed by the province's court of appeal.

In a decision Tuesday, Justice William Goodridge dismissed the appeal, describing the trial judge as even-handed and finding no error in her decision making.

Strapp filed the appeal in July 2022, claiming that trial Judge Phyllis Harris came to a wrong decision based on her assessment of the victim's credibility, misapprehending evidence and engaged in uneven scrutiny.

Strapp was found guilty in February 2022 of sexually exploiting and sexually assaulting a teenage student he taught and coached. He was sentenced to four years in prison in June of that year.

Much of Strapp's appeal centred around inconsistencies in the victim's testimony. During the trial, the victim admitted lying to police about the timing of when sexual contact with Strapp began.There was also a dispute during the trial about a purported sex tape of Strapp's former wife, which was proven to not have existed.

The appeal dismissed those inconsistencies.

"The complainant's evidence on the sex video related to a collateral matter and did not require comment; the complainant's evidence on the timing of the first occasion of intercourse was material and it was adequately addressed. Accordingly, there was no error on the alleged failure to address material inconsistencies in the evidence," the decision read.

Goodridge also wrote that he found no evidence that Harris misapprehended evidence and inconsistencies between Strapp's and the victim's testimonies were dealt with "in an even-handed manner."

"Mr. Strapp has not demonstrated that the trial judge made errors in conducting her credibility assessment, in providing insufficient reasons, in misapprehending the evidence, or in engaging in uneven scrutiny. Accordingly, I would dismiss the appeal."

Download our free CBC News app to sign up for push alerts for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador. Click here to visit our landing page