Regina teacher accused of sexual offences admits to lying to police during Crown cross-examination

WARNING: This story contains distressing details.

The Court of King's Bench heard from its last witnesses Friday in the trial of a Regina teacher charged with sexual offences involving a 15-year-old student.

The judge-alone trial, presided over by Justice Neil Robertson, began Monday.

Jeffrey Dumba was cross-examined by Crown prosecutor Loren Klein all morning Friday and for part of the afternoon. He has pleaded not guilty to five charges including inviting a minor to touch herself sexually, distributing sexually explicit material to a minor and possessing child pornography.

These charges relate to Dumba's alleged online and text interactions with a 15-year-old between June 23, 2021, and Sept. 2, 2021.

There is a publication ban on the girl's identity.

On Friday, the Crown grilled Dumba on discrepancies in his original statements to police, as well as his communication with the 15-year-old after he found out who she was.

Dumba claimed the girl initially told him she was 20 years old. He told the Crown he believed that to be true. However, the teen told the court earlier this week that Dumba knew who she was when they were exchanging pictures and messages.

Jeffrey Dumba said in court Friday that when he found out he was communicating in a sexual nature with a student from the Regina high school he taught at, he was "horrified."
Jeffrey Dumba said in court Friday that when he found out he was communicating in a sexual nature with a student from the Regina high school he taught at, he was 'horrified.' (CBC News)

During cross-examination, Dumba described feeling "sheer panic" when he found out the girl was not 20 years old. He said he found this out on July 15, 2021. He claimed to have become aware she was a child when she sent him a photo without a social media filter on it. That, he said, made her look much younger than 20. The filters are known to help alter the appearance of the person using them.

Dumba testified that he deleted nude photos of the girl once he found out she was a child.

"I remember the horror of finding out," he told the court.

The Crown continued cross-examination with questions about Dumba's correspondence with the teen after learning of her identity. He denied being "off and on" with the girl — despite her testifying to that earlier this week.

Dumba admitted to continuing texting her, but said he tried to distance himself from her. The Crown questioned him repeatedly about his texts to her at this time — inquiring as to why he would send messages like "Are you in town"? The Crown suggested this type of communication may not support Dumba's assertion that he was trying to distance himself from the child.

The girl told court earlier this week that she interacted with Dumba in the hallway and near his classroom on the first two days of school. Regina police arrested Dumba on Sept. 3, 2021.

File - An empty witness box in a courtroom at Court of King's Bench in Regina, Sask.
Jeffrey Dumba took the stand Friday for the Crown's cross-examination. It was the last day for witnesses. Final arguments are expected to take place on Oct. 28. (Kirk Fraser/CBC)

The Crown played a recording of Dumba's interview with police. The teacher admitted on-stand that he repeatedly lied to police. He blamed this behaviour on "panic," and admitted much of what he told police at that time "didn't make sense."

Testimony this week has established that Dumba was regularly taking alcohol, MDMA, cannabis and cocaine that summer. He testified Friday that, when speaking with police, he over-exaggerated his drug use.

He told the Crown Friday that drugs wouldn't affect him enough that he would "intentionally get involved with a minor."

Closing arguments are scheduled to take place on Oct. 28, 2024.