Meeko trial enters third day, three complainants to testify

A former teacher in Sanikiluaq, Johnny Meeko is being tried for 18 sex-related criminal charges

Johnny Meeko, a former Sanikiluaq school teacher, centre and wearing a blue cap, is seen leaving the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit in May 2017. Meeko is facing four new charges and 14 others from a previous trial. (File photo)

By Meral Jamal

Witnesses continued to testify about things they say Johnny Meeko did to them, as the former teacher’s jury trial continued into its third day Thursday.

Meeko, who worked at Nuiyak Elementary School in Sanikiluaq between the 1970s and early 2000s, is being tried for 18 sex-related criminal charges from his time at the school.

Four of those charges stem from complaints made in 2019. As well, Meeko is being retried on 14 other charges after he won an appeal of a previous conviction from 2017.

The charges against him are based on allegations from 11 of his former students, three of whom were scheduled to testify at the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit on Thursday.

The first witness for the day said Meeko taught her in grades 2 and 3 in the 1990s. She said Meeko sexually touched her throughout the school year and kissed her on the mouth on one occasion.

The witness said she reported the incidents to the RCMP in 2012. Her sister, who was in the same class as her, testified Tuesday.

Meeko’s demeanour has generally been solemn throughout testimony this week, although he laughed out loud once during testimony Wednesday and has smiled on a couple of other occasions.

His lawyer, Ilan Neuman, advised him Wednesday while court was in recess not to smile during proceedings.

Meeko’s trial resumes Friday and is expected to continue through June 9.


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