Sex crime trial starting

Jury selection began this week for the trial of a former Langley teacher accused of sexually assaulting a former student more than 15 years ago.

Deborah Ralph will go on trial starting Jan. 20 in New Westminster’s courthouse, on charges of sexual interference and sexual assault.

Ralph was a longtime teacher at James Kennedy Elementary, from 1987 to June of 2010.

She then began teaching at Langley Fundamental Elementary in September 2010, but Ralph was removed from the classroom when allegations surfaced the following year.

After her arrest, more than two years ago, police said that the now-grown victim had contacted police.

The victim was elementary school aged at the time of the alleged assaults.

He has not been identified and his exact age has not been disclosed.

Police said that at the time of the incidents, he was not a student of Ralph’s but he had been in her class before.

The accusations date to a period between December 1998 and June 2001.

Jury selection started Monday, Jan. 6, with a voir dire hearing scheduled for Jan. 15.

At this point, the trial is scheduled to begin on Jan. 20 and was scheduled to last as long as through to Feb. 4.

Ralph was released under orders not to be in contact with her victim or children under 16.

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