Mary Gowans leaves University Court in Toronto on Sept. 13, 2012.
Credits: DAVE THOMAS/QMI AGENCY
TORONTO -- An east-end teacher was "extremely shocked" when her former student and family friend kissed and grabbed her crotch while babysitting in 2010, court heard.
Testifying in her own defence Thursday, Mary Gowans denied she ever had a sexual relationship or romance with then 15-year-old boy.
But she recounted the unforgettable sexual advance he made on Jan. 5, 2010, an incident that severed their close friendship.
While her nine-year-old son and his younger sister were playing hide-and-go-seek on the ground floor, Gowans said she leaned towards the teen and whispered in his ear that her son was downstairs in a closet.
Gowans said the teen surprised her by kissing her on the lips and clutching her crotch.
"It took a second to realize what was going on. Then, I pushed him back and said, 'What are you doing? Stop!'" she told Justice John McMahon.
"He looked a little shocked and I was extremely shocked. This was right out of the blue for me. I had absolutely no idea this was coming," said Gowans, who has since separated from her husband after being charged and losing her job.
"This is not a day I could forget what happened."
Gowans and her lawyer, Peter Brauti, mimicked how the grope occurred by re-enacting it in court.
Gowans, now 42, and a former gym and French teacher at Joseph Howe Sr. Public School, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and sexual interference from November 2009 until Jan. 10, 2010.
The teen, who had admitted a strong attraction to Gowans since she was his junior high school teacher, testified earlier that they engaged in four to six sex-play sessions featuring necking and petting that fall.
The now 18-year-old was acting as a babysitter-mentor to her child, helping coach the Howe hockey team and the running club as well as jogging with Gowans. He testified the sexual activity occurred during the cover of the hide-and-go-seek games played in Gowans' household.
She denied any involvement except the unexpected Jan. 5, 2010, come-on.
As soon as she recomposed herself, she gathered up her children and announced they were driving her babysitter home.
The next day after hockey practice, she announced the teen would never enter her home or babysit her children again.
"It never occurred to me to report him to the police. I thought the consequences like that didn't seem fitting," Gowans said.
"My children loved him and it was hurtful when I heard (his testimony that) he didn't care for them," Gowans said. "I considered him like a member of our family."
The trial resumes Friday.