Teacher gets 75 days for sexual exploitation of student

Ontario Court of Justice in Sarnia. 8 January 2020. (BlackburnNews.com photo by Colin Gowdy)

A former Sarnia high school teacher, who pled guilty to sexual exploitation of a student, has been sentenced to 75 days in jail.

Barb Organ, 51, appeared in Sarnia court Friday morning, where Justice George Orsini handed her the intermittent sentence to be served on weekends in London.

In November, Crown attorney Aniko Coughlan and Organ’s defence lawyer, Saman Wickramasinghe from the Toronto area, presented a joint submission recommending the 75-day sentence and 18-months probation.

Justice Orsini said he accepted the submission and that Organ was not a risk to reoffend.

The justice also lifted a publication ban protecting the victim’s name, Skylar Holbrook, at the victim’s request.

Blackburn News spoke with Holbrook after the verdict.

“I had [the ban] removed because over the last few years I’ve had a lot of issues with the crown attorney’s and there were things that I wanted addressed and spoken to, and at the end of the day when it all came down to it, it just wasn’t an honest trial.”

Holbrook said it was hard to accept the judge’s decision.

“It takes you a long time to get to a point where you do realize that maybe things were wrong and they weren’t the way that they should be, and that’s what grooming is at the end of the day, and it just happened to be really bad,” said Holbrook. “I’m glad that this is over with. I don’t want to deal with this anymore and be back.”

Organ was arrested and charged in November of 2017 following an alleged relationship between 2011 and 2013 with Holbrook, who was 17 at the time, at the former St. Clair Secondary School.

When Justice Orsini delivered his verdict, he noted that Organ had laid charges against Holbrook, citing physical abuse, prior to Holbrook coming forward.