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P.E.I. music teacher and actor pleads guilty to sexual interference

Aaron Phillip Crane walks to P.E.I. Supreme Court on Sept. 30, 2020 where he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference.
Aaron Phillip Crane walks to P.E.I. Supreme Court on Sept. 30, 2020 where he pleaded guilty to one count of sexual interference. - Ryan Ross

A P.E.I. music teacher and actor who pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of sexual interference for incidents involving a girl under the age of 16 will be back in court in November for sentencing.

Aaron Phillip Crane, 36, appeared before Justice Terri MacPherson in P.E.I. Supreme Court in Charlottetown where he entered the guilty plea.

During the proceedings, Crown attorney Lisa Goulden told the court Charlottetown police began an investigation after the victim reported she had been in a sexual relationship with Crane.

What is sexual interference?
Any person who touches someone younger than 16 directly or indirectly with a part of their body or an object is guilty of sexual interference.

Aaron Phillip Crane pleaded guilty to indictable sexual interference which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail and a maximum of not more than 14 years in prison.

The victim was younger than the age of consent at the time of the offence.

Reading from the agreed statement of facts, Goulden said the victim told police what she described as a relationship lasted about seven months.

The court heard Crane’s employer warned him several times after staff identified inappropriate behaviour toward the victim.

One month after that behaviour was first noted, Crane was caught alone with the victim and his employer asked him to submit his resignation, which he did.

Crane's employer notified the victim's parents and Charlottetown police about the incidents.

The court heard that the victim’s parents then became concerned about inappropriate text messages between the girl and Crane.

Goulden said they reached out to police who spoke with Crane and told him to stop all contact with the victim.

The full extent of the interactions between the two wasn’t known to the victim’s parents or police at that time, Goulden said.

It was about six months later when the victim told the police they were having a sexual relationship.

In her statement to police, the victim detailed what started with Crane kissing her on the neck when hugging her and escalated to intercourse.

Goulden told the court that after having unprotected sex with the victim, Crane asked a nurse he knew if it was OK for one of his younger friends to take the morning after pill because she had “stupid sex.”

Goulden told the court there was a point when Crane would pick up the victim daily.

The court heard that the victim stopped seeing Crane during the month before she disclosed what had happened.

When Crane spoke to police, he told them he had a relationship with the victim, he cared for her and they would exchange messages on social media or by text.

Goulden said Crane didn’t provide any further details in relation to the allegations.

When the police searched Crane’s home, they seized multiple pairs of female underwear which the victim identified as hers and said she gave to him or left at his apartment.

Before the matter was adjourned Wednesday, defence lawyer Conor Mullin asked for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Crane will be back in court on Nov. 23 for sentencing.

A publication ban prevents the release of any details that could identify the victim.

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