David Boyce, 56, re-arrested last Monday for allegedly breaching the terms of his bail recognizance by contacting the girl he is alleged to have sexually exploited while a teacher at R.D. Parker Collegiate, was released for a second time on a recognizance of bail at 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon, after being brought into provincial court in the Provincial Building in leg irons and handcuffs.
Boyce spent 72 hours in custody in the Public Safety Building basement holding cells of the RCMP detachment at 122 Selkirk Ave. and the holding cells in the Provincial Building from the time of his arrest on the breach of recognizance charge April 2 at 5 p.m. until he was released at 5 p.m. April 5.
Under Section 515 of the Criminal Code of Canada, Boyce was in what is known as a "reverse onus" situation where he would have had to show cause to a justice of the peace or judge why he should be released on bail pending trial on the sexual exploitation charge. Normally the onus at a bail hearing to "show cause" for the continued detention of the accused in pre-trial custody is on the Crown; however, the onus is reversed when the accused has been released earlier on a recognizance for another offence and is alleged to have breached a term of that release, as is the case in Boyce's situation.
In determining whether an accused should be released from custody, a court will consider three different factors, or grounds:
* primary ground: This is a question of whether an accused will attend for their court dates;
* secondary ground: This is a question of whether there is a substantial likelihood of the accused committing further criminal offences while on release;
* tertiary ground: This is a question of whether detention is necessary to maintain confidence in the administration of justice.
While an accused does still maintain the presumption of innocence at a bail hearing, the court will consider the allegations against them in determining whether an individual can be released. A ban on publication of evidence from a bail hearing is mandatory if the defendant requests it. The rationale is that premature publication of evidence could lead to an unfair trial. A publication ban lasts until charges are dismissed or the defendant pleads guilty or is convicted or is acquitted at trial.
The Crown did not force a bail hearing April 5, consenting to Boyce's release late in the day on the Thursday, as the Easter holiday weekend rapidly approached with the cells in the Public Safety Building basement of the RCMP detachment at 122 Selkirk Ave. full of prisoners.
Boyce was initially charged March 24 and voluntarily resigned as a teacher with the School District of Mystery Lake March 29.
Sgt. Line Karpish, the province's senior RCMP media spokesperson with "D" Division in Winnipeg, said April 3 that on March 22 the RCMP's "Thompson detachment received a complaint from the School District of Mystery Lake advising of suspected inappropriate behaviour between a teacher at the R.D. Parker Collegiate and a teenage female student."
Karpish said April 3 Boyce was released after his arrest "on a recognizance with strict conditions" and the "investigation continues."
Boyce has been charged under the sexual exploitation of a young person section of the Criminal Code, which says, "No one in a position of trust or authority over a 16 or 17 year old or upon whom the young person is dependent, can touch any part of the body of the young person for a sexual purpose or invite that young person to touch himself/herself or them for a sexual purpose."
Section 153 is a so-called "hybrid offence," meaning the Crown can elect to proceed summarily or by indictment with the minimum sentence being 18 months in a provincial reformatory and the maximum sentence being 10 years in a federal penitentiary.
Boyce, a high profile and always flamboyant drama teacher, who taught at R.D. Parker Collegiate from September 2008 until his resignation March 29, also previously worked for Frontier School Division No. 48 Area 1, where he was principal of the Leaf Rapids Education Centre, and for the Nisichawayasihk Education Authority in Nelson House where he taught in Grade 8 at Otetiskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik Elementary School.
As well, Boyce, who was born and raised in Edmonton, taught in Calgary in the mid-to-late 1980s.