|Former teacher Mary Gowans outside the University Ave. courthouse in downtown Toronto on Sept. 13, 2012. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - A teacher accused of sexually assaulting her former student when he was 15 testified Friday she cannot say how he knew she had breast implants.
Mary Gowans, who’ll turn 43 Saturday, admitted to Justice John McMahon that she had the operation but said she never spoke to the teen, his family or anyone at her school about her breast augmentation.
The now 18-year-old university student testified that he and Gowans “made out” on a few occasions at her home while he babysat her two children, now aged 12 and 9, between November 2009 and January 2010.
The witness also said Gowans informed him she underwent a vaginal-tightening surgery after childbirth as well as breast implants.
Gowans said Friday she had never even heard of the post-childbirth procedure, let alone received it.
Crown prosecutor Soula Olver suggested Gowans had romantic “feelings” for the teen, who, besides babysitting for her, spent time helping her coach the Joseph Howe Sr. Public School hockey team, running club and jogged alone with her.
“No I did not. He was a just a friendly, polite kid whom my children looked up to as a big brother,” she said. “I didn’t feel anything sinister towards him.”
Gowans, a former elementary school teacher with the Toronto public board, has pleaded not guilty to sexual interference and sexual assault.
She and her husband of 17 years separated after she was charged. She was suspended from her job and later resigned.
The student, who cannot be identified, testified that Gowans, his French teacher in Grades 7 and 8, tantalized him by wearing skimpy jogging outfits.
He added that she revealed her breasts to him by donning a wet, sleeveless undershirt after a waterfront race in June 2009.
Gowans testified that much of the frequent contact between them was triggered by her children’s affections for the tall, broad-shouldered, athletic teen.
But when the teen stopped babysitting her children in September 2009 for a few weeks, Gowans asked the teen to explain his decision to her disappointed kids.
Olver suggested Gowans was “trying to guilt” the teen into continuing babysitting because of her growing attraction to him.
Gowans denied that and also denied that there was any sexual contact, except when the teen shocked her by kissing her and clutching her crotch on Jan. 5, 2010. Then, she banned him from the house and contemplated telling his parents, but didn’t. He repeatedly apologized through text messages and worried that she would divulge his misbehaviour to his parents, she said.
After two weeks, she was arrested and her life unravelled.
The trial continues Monday.