Former R.D. Parker Collegiate drama teacher David Boyce, 56, appeared before a justice of the peace in Thompson on one count of sexual exploitation and two counts of breach of recognizance on May 18, with the matter remanded until his next scheduled appearance on June 15. He remains free on bail
Boyce was charged with sexual exploitation of a female student on March 24 and voluntarily resigned as a teacher with the School District of Mystery Lake on March 29. He had been employed at RDPC since September 2008 and previously worked as the principal of the Leaf Rapids Education Centre and as a Grade 8 teacher at Oteskiwin Kiskinwamahtowekamik Elementary School for the Nisichawayasihk Education Authority in Nelson House.
On April 2, Boyce was arrested on a breach of recognizance charge and spent 72 hours in custody in the holding cells of the Thompson RCMP detachment until he was once again released on his own recognizance on April 5. It is alleged that Boyce made contact with the student he is charged with exploiting, violating the conditions of his bail.
The charge of sexual exploitation was laid because Boyce occupied ""a position of trust or authority towards a young person, who is a person with whom the young person is in a relationship of dependency or who is in a relationship with a young person that is exploitative of the young person, and who touching for a sexual purpose, directly or indirectly, with a part of the body or with an object, any part of the body of the young person," contrary to Section 153(1)(a) of the Criminal Code of Canada. The maximum sentence upon conviction is 10 years in a federal penitentiary.
The federal Department of Justice lists as examples of such persons in positions of trust or authority "a teacher, religious leader, baby-sitter or doctor."
Whether a relationship is considered to be exploitative, the Department of Justice says, for "the 16 or 17 year old will depend upon the nature and circumstances of the relationship, e.g., the age of the young person, the age difference between the young person and their partner, how the relationship developed and how the partner may have controlled or influenced the young person. As well, 16 and 17 year olds cannot consent to sexual activity that involves prostitution or pornography."
Prior to his arrest in March, Boyce was most notable for his involvement in student and community theatre productions in Thompson, including Baraboo: The Last Show on Earth; The Diary of Anne Frank; Rashomon, a murder mystery based on the 1950 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa, which in turn is based on a 1915 short story by Ryunosuke Akutagawa; and Melody, the story of a young girl living at the North Pacific Cannery, a salmon cannery, who loses her mentor and best friend, a musician and teacher who fostered her talents. In May 2011, Boyce orchestrated the first-ever Manitoba Northern Schools One-Act Play Festival, sponsored by Vale's Manitoba Operations and hosted by R.D. Parker Collegiate with drama students from Margaret Barbour Collegiate Institute in The Pas and Gillam School also participating.