Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday in the trial of a special education teacher accused of assaulting a student younger than 10 years old.
Robert Bender is accused in a December 2020 incident involving one of his students.
His trial included multiple witnesses, including the student's father, who described how he was a challenging student for school staff.
The boy had a behavioural management plan approved by his parents in place with the school that allowed for him to be physically constrained. The court heard of other instances where the boy had been restrained.
Witnesses are not being named to protect the identity of the student and to honour a court-imposed publication ban.
Over the course of the judge-alone trial that spanned four days the court heard conflicting stories of how Bender removed the student from his classroom.
Witnesses were also at odds over what led to the student being removed from the classroom and whether the boy caused an imminent risk to others around him in the moments leading up to his removal.
Crown prosecutors argue Bender used an unreasonable amount of force when he took the student out of the classroom.
Bender pleaded not guilty to the charge.
A judgment is expected Dec. 20.
Bender was 48 when he was charged in 2022 with assault, harassment by threatening conduct, intimidation by threats of violence, and mischief. The Crown is only pursuing the assault charge.
When the charges were announced in April 2022 police said the special education teacher was being charged for allegedly mistreating two students under the age of 10, but there is now only one complainant.