Court hears testimony
Jury began deliberating Wednesday in Button trial

Inuvik ( May 19/00) - Testimony was heard earlier this week in a jury trial in which Dave Button is facing sex crime charges.

Button, a long-time teacher and Inuvik resident, is facing charges of indecent assault on a teenage male, gross indecency and attempted buggery.

The alleged offences took place between 1971-78, when Button was a guidance counsellor at Inuvik's Samuel Hearne high school.

The complainant cannot be named due to a publication ban.

Crown counsel, Clifton Purvis, said the gist of the complainant's testimony was heard Monday in Yellowknife Supreme Court.

"In a general sense (the complainant) testified when he attended Samuel Hearne high school, the accused was his guidance counsellor, and over a two-year period when he was receiving guidance counselling, he was sexually assaulted by the accused -- fondling his genitals and they engaged in mutual masturbation," he said.

The charges stemmed from evidence that was heard in a sexual assault case against Paul Leroux. He was a supervisor at Grollier Hall, a residential school in Inuvik, during the 1970s. Several complainants testified at his trial and disclosed information that resulted in charges against Button.

"(The complainant in this case) disclosed his relationship to (Button) during the period he was getting counselling from him," Purvis said.

He added that a key issue in the case was Button's position of authority over the complainant.

Button testified Tuesday and denied the allegations.

"He was a guidance counsellor at the time, he remembered (the complainant) as his student and he'd seen him in his office on a number of occasions on referral from other teachers," said his defence lawyer Adrian Wright.

The jury began deliberation at 10 a.m. Wednesday. They had not reached a verdict by deadline.