TORONTO -- A convicted sex offender and disgraced former Pickering high school teacher is waking up Easter Sunday in jail accused of luring a youth online for a sexual rendezvous in a Niagara Falls hotel room.
Robert Bridgeman, 52, of Pickering, is charged with luring a child and sexual interference. He is to appear in bail court in St. Catharines Sunday.
Niagara Regional Police alleged Saturday that the convicted sex offender lured a young person online for sex and on two separate occasions travelled to Niagara Falls, rented a hotel room and engaged in sexual encounters with the youth. Police did not reveal the age of the youth.
The investigation, which included detectives from the force’s Internet child exploitation unit, began Saturday.
As part of the investigation, cops searched a Niagara Falls hotel room seizing sex paraphernalia and a computer, police said.
Bridgeman has worked as a teacher and football coach at high schools in both London and Pickering.
Media reports indicate the Durham Catholic District School Board relieved him of his teaching duties at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering when he was first charged in June 2000.
In 2002, Bridgeman was given an 18-month sentence in London, Ont., after he was convicted of sexually abusing a teenage family friend.
A year later he was convicted of gross indecency with a student and concurrently sentenced to four months in jail. At that time, he was acquitted of another sexual assault charge.
During his sentencing hearing in 2003, Bridgeman’s lawyer requested, and a judge agreed, that his client be transferred from a detention facility to a provincial jail due to problems with other inmates. His lawyer said Bridgeman had been assaulted at the Don Jail.
In 2004, Bridgeman had his teaching licence revoked and he was banned from seeking reinstatement for 10 years.