Ex London, Ont. teacher leaves ominous social media post, skips sentencing for sex crimes


The charges laid against him almost three years ago involved a sexual relationship with a student

Article content

The day before ex-teacher Dustin Epp was supposed to be sentenced for four sex-related crimes, he left an eerie social media post.

Advertisement 2

Article content

“Day 1,096,” his last message on his Facebook page, published on Monday all in lower-case letters began. “#reviews #earth 1974-2023. it was a tough load-in, not going to lie. but earth girls are beautiful! 10/10.”

Article content

“((goodbye, everyone! enjoy the game, and have fun. thanks for listening and not existing. im off to see the wizard…)))

On Tuesday morning, Epp, 48, a former physics and computer science teacher at Oakridge secondary school, failed to show up for his Ontario Court sentencing hearing before Justice Kevin McHugh.

The sentence contemplated would send Epp to prison. He pleaded guilty last fall to voyeurism, sexual interference, possession of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. The charges laid against him almost three years ago involved a sexual relationship with a student.

After the matter was called first thing on Tuesday morning and it was clear Epp was not in attendance, McHugh stood the matter down in hopes he might be running late and would show up. When it became apparent he would not be attending, McHugh issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

London police officers were sent to Epp’s London address but could not find him. His sentencing is now in limbo until he is located.

Advertisement 3

Article content

Police later appealed to the public for help in finding Epp.

He was last seen Monday evening in the area of Andover Drive and Viscount Road, police said in a news release. Epp has a medium build, is about six feet, two inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. He may be driving a silver 2012 Nissan Maxima with Ontario licence plate ANXT 957.

Police said they are concerned about Epp’s welfare and asked anyone with information about his whereabouts to call them at (519) 661-5670 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

It appears Epp has been using his Facebook account to chronicle his criminal justice journey including many strange, raw and rambling admissions about his court case and his mental health since he was arrested in March 2020 and charged with sexual interference. More charges followed in September 2020.

Advertisement 4

Article content

After his guilty pleas in the fall – a process he described in his social media reflections – the case was put over to Tuesday for what Epp described on his Facebook page as “sentencing and exfoliation.”

Epp’s court battles go beyond the criminal courts. A lawsuit filed on Monday by lawyers for a female plaintiff names Epp and the Thames Valley District school board as defendants.

The statement of claim contains allegations that have not been proven in a civil court.

The plaintiff, the statement said, was a teenage high school student and Epp was her physics and computer science teacher in 2019. Epp also supervised the computer club of which the plaintiff was a member.

In December 2019, the statement said, during one month, the plaintiff “was sexually exploited and abused by Epp,” who “would often ask the Plaintiff to engage in activities alone with Epp and outside the school grounds.”

Advertisement 5

Article content

The statement said Epp “groomed” the plaintiff, and after earning her trust, “proceeded to sexually abuse her.”

The statement of claim listed the sexual activities, including intercourse, and that Epp filmed and photographed them.

Epp used his position of trust as a teacher to form the relationship with the teenager and be alone with her “on the premises that were owned by Epp and/or by the school board,” the statement said. It adds the teen was not an age where she could consent to the activities.

Also, Epp had used his position to ensure the teen didn’t tell anyone about what they were doing, the claim said, and he continued to teach her.

The statement of claim outlines the effects of the abuse on the teen including “physical, emotional and mental pain and suffering and a loss of enjoyment of life.”

Advertisement 6

Article content

Her education was interrupted, there was “misuse of drugs/alcohol,” she was unable to interact with authority figures including teachers, suffered mental health issues including self-harm and suicidal ideation, anxiety, depression and has severe trust issues.

“Her ability to carry on a normal life has been extinguished or impaired,” the statement of claim said.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Rob Talach, is aware Epp failed to show up to court for his criminal sentencing.

“This cowardly and selfish act by Epp has only aggravated the suffering of my client and her family,” he said. 

Until Epp is found, both the criminal and civil cases remain unsettled.

jsims@postmedia.com

twitter.com/JaneatLFPress

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.





Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Newsline.world
Logo