Suspended teacher on trial for sex assault claims she was raped and blackmailed

Alyssa Tungul pictured here on the date of her arrest by Edmonton police in May 2019. (Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service - image credit)
Alyssa Tungul pictured here on the date of her arrest by Edmonton police in May 2019. (Court exhibit/Edmonton Police Service - image credit)

Alyssa Tungul says she wanted to be a friend and mentor to a 15-year-old former student during the summer and fall of 2016.

"I would describe it as him being a troubled youth needing guidance and I provided that for him," Tungul testified on the fifth day of her sexual assault trial in Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench.

Tungul, 30, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and unlawful touching of a person under the age of 16.

The young man is now 20. As his identity is protected by a court-ordered publication ban, CBC is referring to him as David.

David claimed that Tungul was the sexual aggressor but that he was a willing participant. He testified they had sexual intercourse three times and had oral sex between five and 10 times.

"I ended it because she said she loved me and I felt like it was wrong," David testified. "I was a 15-year-old, insecure kid."

Tungul's version is dramatically different.

The suspended music teacher said she began to communicate with David on Snapchat after he finished grade nine and was no longer her student.

One day, David called to ask if they could talk, she said.

"He seemed very troubled and wanted to seek advice or talk about things," Tungul said. "Get some things off his chest."

She took David to her cousin's house for privacy. Her sister and cousin were upstairs; she went with David downstairs to a family room couch.

"He was talking about his home life. How difficult it is, how he doesn't want to be there," Tungul said. "He was really down. I gave him a hug to comfort him."

Tungul told the court that while they were hugging, David pulled her on top of him. She said he pulled up her skirt, moved her underwear and "raped" her.

"It happened really fast, so some details are not clear," Tungul said. "I remember getting off the couch and saying this should not have happened."

Afterward, she drove to a drugstore to buy a morning-after pill to prevent pregnancy.

'I was afraid of him'

Tungul's defence lawyer asked why she didn't report the incident to police.

"I thought if I went and told someone or the police, that they wouldn't believe me because I'm the adult and he's a minor," she said. "I was afraid of him. I didn't want to make him angry or piss him off."

She was afraid David would go to the police and claim he'd been assaulted.

Tungul agreed to give David a ride a week later. She said he got into the car and began fondling himself, before asking her to perform oral sex.

She said at first she refused.

"He insisted and took the back of my head and pushed me toward his penis and would not let me break away," Tungul said.

After one more encounter in the car when she refused his advances, she ended the relationship.

"I was done," Tungul said. "With him and feeling pressured into doing things that he wanted to do and that I did not want to do."

David denied all of Tungul's allegations when he was cross-examined.

During her cross-examination, Tungul admitted she was in a position of authority and had power over her former student.

"You knew this would be a fling," prosecutor Damon MacLeod said. "You could have some fun with him and you wouldn't get into trouble. Isn't that right?"

Tungul denied the suggestion.

David went to police two years later in November 2018.

Tungul was removed from the classroom a month later and suspended with pay when she was charged in May 2019.

No date has been set for closing arguments.