Kelowna Law Courts. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Former West Kelowna teacher who sexually exploited student sentenced to two more years in prison

Bradley Furman, a former Mount Boucherie teacher, was sentenced to 38 months total

A former Mount Boucherie Secondary school teacher who sexually exploited a student will spend two more years behind bars.

Bradley Furman, 30, broke into tears as judge Clarke Burnett sentenced him to a total of 38 months in prison for various charges related to his relationship with a 17-year-old student. He was given 11 months credit for time served.

“Mr. Furman’s actions must be denounced and deter others from engaging in similar relationships,” Burnett said, adding that his action have had a “profound detrimental effect” on the victim and her family and Furman has “has tarnished the profession.”

The sentencing is slightly more than the 36 months suggested by Furman’s defence lawyer Claire Hatcher and far less than the 71-month sentence sought by the Crown.

Furman will also be required to register as a sex offender and avoid contact with the victim and her family.

The relationship between Furman and his student began during the 2017-2018 school year when he was 28 years old.

They began speaking on social media during spring break. Topics of discussion included video games of mutual interest as well as Furman’s marital issues, to which the girl provided advice.

The relationship’s secrecy unravelled as Furman called the girl out of two classes on May 1, 2018. This prompted suspicion from Furman’s co-workers, who brought the matter to school administrators.

Upon watching security footage of the two walking “too close,” the school’s principal and vice-principal had conversations with Furman and the girl separately.

The girl told the principal of the messages and the eventual progression into a sexual relationship.

Furman was asked by school administrators to show the messages, but he refused. According to the Crown, the school’s principal told Furman he would be fired if he destroyed the communications.

Following the conversations with the administration, Furman did just that, asking the girl to delete all correspondence and the associated accounts.

Investigators subsequently obtained 2,700 pages of messages, some of which point to the relationship continuing for another 13 months after the initial arrest in May 2018.

Furman was arrested four times for breaching conditions of his bail, specifically for making contact with the girl and members of her family.

“This is not a Hallmark channel love story,” Crown counsel David Grabavac said in December 2019.

“It’s not two teenagers; it’s not two people on a level playing field.

“It was a calculated, deliberate attack for his own sexual gratification.”

Hatcher disagreed, saying it was not a violent attack and Furman has not attempted to contact the girl since June 2019.

“He does think about the damage he’s done every day,” she said. “It’s a very impactful deterrent that Mr. Furman, who is a first time offender, is now facing life as a sex offender. He won’t be able to travel much at all. These are real consequences that have already been kneaded out.”

Furman showed his remorse during sentencing proceedings, silently sobbing at several points over the four separate days. On Jan. 23, Furman apologized to those he wronged saying he was “deeply sorry.”

“The relationship that happened between the student and myself was my responsibility,” Furman said. “I’m deeply sorry for all the pain that I’ve caused them as a family and the wedge I drove between them. It is my greatest hope and wish that they can move past this together and leave this traumatic event that I’ve caused behind them.”

Furman went on, apologizing to the courts for the multiple breaches of his bail.

“My disregard for the laws and conditions is inexcusable,” said Furman. “Since being incarcerated, I’ve had a lot of time to think about my actions and I can see how truly deplorable they were.

“It is my sincerest intention to fully comply with any conditions given to me and not repeat any mistakes I’ve made in the past.”

READ MORE: ‘I hate you’: Student tells former West Kelowna teacher who sexually exploited her

READ MORE: ‘Deeply sorry’: Former West Kelowna teacher offers emotional apology to student he sexually exploited


@michaelrdrguez
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