Estate denies liability in alleged sexual assaults of students by Calgary teacher

The estate of a Calgary-based teacher who killed himself after being charged with 17 counts of sexual assault has filed a statement of defence after some of his former students filed a $40 million lawsuit.

Michael Gregory, a teacher at John Ware Junior High School in southwest Calgary from 1986 through 2005, was charged in February 2021 following an investigation into allegations of assault and exploitation by former students. He was found dead in the days that followed.

The $40-million class-action lawsuit against both Gregory’s estate as well as the Calgary Board of Education named three plaintiffs who were former students of Gregory’s.

In its statement of defence, the representative of the estate — Gregory’s wife — claimed no knowledge of the allegations against Gregory prior to him being arrested by Calgary Police Service members and charged on Feb. 17, 2021.

She say she was aware that Gregory had driven students home from school on occasion and that students had attended his home, but was unaware whether Gregory had invited the students.

The Calgary Board of Education previously filed a statement of defence in December 2021 in which it claimed it wasn’t liable for Gregory’s alleged actions and the board did not have a duty to care for his alleged student victims.

Gregory was the subject of a Alberta Teachers’ Association disciplinary hearing in 2006 during which he admitted to inappropriate behaviour, physical abuse and having relationships with two female junior high school students. His teaching certificate was suspended for two years. The ATA was not obliged to and did not forward his admission to police for further investigation.

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