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Former teacher avoids jail time for historical sexual assaults involving young students

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Disclaimer: Details in this article may be triggering for some readers.

A retired teacher out of York Region convicted of historical crimes involving elementary school students will not spend time behind bars.

A Newmarket judge handed Larry Fritz a conditional sentence consisting of house arrest for two years less a day, plus probation after the 75-year-old pleaded guilty to five counts of inappropriately touching students in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s.

Police launched an investigation in 2021 following allegations by several victims.

During the trial, the court heard Fritz would call students to his desk at the back of the class and put his hands on them, touching their backsides, rubbing their backs under their clothes and placing his hand between one girl's legs.

The court also heard he angrily shoved a young boy into a wall in a school washroom, knocking him to the ground.

One victim, now a woman, told the court during the sentencing hearing Fritz stole her innocence, making her unable to trust another male teacher.

While delivering his decision on Monday morning, Justice Cary Boswell told Fritz he "took advantage of their vulnerability in the worst way."

The Crown argued that Fritz should spend four years in jail; however, Boswell pointed out that Fritz had lived an exemplary life following the offences and emphasized his remorse as a mitigating factor in his decision.

As part of his sentence, Fritz must wear a GPS ankle monitor and seek counselling. He will also be listed on the sex offender registry for 20 years and must refrain from being near children for 10 years.

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