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Convicted sex offender banned for life by Sask. teachers' regulator

Star Phoenix logo Star Phoenix 2019-12-21 Saskatoon StarPhoenix
a man wearing a hat: Rhett Lundgren (Facebook photo) Rhett Lundgren (Facebook photo)  Warning: Story contains graphic descriptions and images that may be disturbing to some users. Caution advised.

The regulatory body for Saskatchewan’s teachers has formally stripped a convicted sex offender of his teaching certificate and banned him from ever again teaching in the province.

The Saskatchewan Professional Teacher’s Regulatory Board (SPTRB) recently published its decision against Rhett Lundgren online.

Lundgren pleaded guilty in November 2018 to arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child , attempting to access child pornography and possessing nine images and nine videos of child porn involving kids between three and 14 years old, found by police who searched his computer.

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At the time of his 2016 arrest, Lundgren was working as a teacher at Saskatoon’s Walter Murray Collegiate and had been employed by Saskatoon Public Schools since 2010.

In January, he also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of child luring in connection with a sexual relationship he had with a 17-year-old student at a Red Deer high school where he taught in 2009 , when he was 32 years old. The charge wasn’t laid until 2017; it was the result of a tip made to Crime Stoppers after Lundgren was charged with the Saskatoon offences in December 2016.

A complaint against Lundgren was filed with the SPTRB in 2017, but the board postponed its proceedings pending the outcome of his criminal trial.

a person talking on a cell phone in front of a car:  Former Walter Murray Collegiate teacher Rhett Lundgren walks out of Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 2, 2018. He pleaded guilty to child pornography and sex offences. © Kayle Neis Former Walter Murray Collegiate teacher Rhett Lundgren walks out of Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 2, 2018. He pleaded guilty to child pornography and sex offences.

After Lundgren was sentenced to three years in prison, the board went ahead with a discipline hearing in Regina in June 2019.

The SPTRB decision notes an official contacted Lundgren ahead of the hearing to confirm he knew it was going ahead, at which time he indicated he wouldn’t send a lawyer and “wished to avoid further public attention.”

The board’s disciplinary committee ordered that Lundgren’s teaching certificate be cancelled and that he be banned from ever holding one “at any time now or in the future.”

While the board has the ability to impose fines in order to recoup costs for disciplinary hearings and investigations, they opted not to in Lundgren’s case, since the only available penalty under the Registered Teachers Act for nonpayment of such fines is to suspend someone’s teaching certificate. Given Lundgren’s teaching certificate was revoked for life, the board deemed that the imposition of a fine was likely to prove futile.

Read the Saskatchewan Professional Teacher’s Regulatory Board decision against Rhett Lundgren here:

citydesk@thestarphoenix.com

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