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Sexual exploitation charges against former Hepburn, Sask., teacher stayed

The trial of Ryan Hutchinson, a former teacher at Hepburn School, was supposed to start earlier this week, but the Crown stayed the charges against him. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)
The trial of Ryan Hutchinson, a former teacher at Hepburn School, was supposed to start earlier this week, but the Crown stayed the charges against him. (Don Somers/CBC - image credit)

Sexual exploitation charges against a man who taught in Hepburn, Sask., have been stayed.

Rosthern RCMP charged Ryan Hutchinson, now 36, with two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person in January 2022.

Hutchinson's trial was supposed to start earlier this week, but the Crown informed his attorney Ron Piché that they were staying both charges.

"The Crown made the right decision in this case," Piché told CBC News.

"I just hope people understand that you're presumed innocent and he has not been convicted of anything."

CBC News has contacted the Crown prosecutors' office for more information about why the charges were stayed.

Crown prosecutors may stay charges in the days leading up to a trial if, after doing their own research and interviews, they believe the case is not in the public interest, or there was not a likelihood of conviction, Piché explained.

At the time charges were laid, Hutchinson was a teacher at Hepburn School, a kindergarten to Grade 12 school about 45 kilometres north of Saskatoon.

RCMP alleged that the victim was a teenaged student at the school.

The case was convoluted, Piché said, and would have required the Crown to prove Hutchinson was in a position of trust.

"Based on what I anticipate the complainants evidence would be, it would have been hard to prove this position of trust," he said.

Hutchinson has lost his position as a teacher, Piché added.

A Crown stay of charges does not mean the charges are withdrawn entirely.

Prosecutors can bring the charges back before the court within one year of the date the charges were stayed. Once that deadline passes, however, the Crown cannot bring the charges back before the court.