By Fiona Isaacson, Examiner – October 26, 2010
An ever defiant and smirking Alexander Clachers had nothing to say Monday about his victims.
“I don’t have victims,” he told reporters.
“I’m the one that’s been beaten up by a bunch of self-serving liars, including the judge and the Crown.”
The 58-year-old former Kenner Collegiate teacher was sentenced Monday in Superior Court of Justice to 10 years in a federal prison and declared a long-term offender for the sexual assaults he inflicted on seven victims, most of whom were his students.
“I truly hope that by seeking treatment you will avail yourself of every opportunity to try to turn your life around,” said Mr. Justice Chris Corkery.
The bulk of the sentence — nine years — was for the hundreds of assaults committed on Clachers’ first victim that started when he was 12.
“When I heard his evidence, his credibility was not in doubt,” Corkery told Clachers.
“The effect (of your actions) upon his life was profound, sir.”
As the victim put it, “it is effectively a life sentence,” Corkery said.
Clachers was given 42 months credit for the 21 months he’s already spent in custody, leaving 6 1/2 years in his sentence.
Outside the courthouse, Clachers deny any wrongdoing even after court heard he was open to treatment.
“I’ll keep holding my head up because I know the truth. I’m being punished for crimes that never occurred,” he said.
The rest of Clachers’ sentence reflects the six concurrent one-year sentences for his six other victims.
Clachers, who turns 59 on Nov. 11, was convicted by a jury in October 2009 for 15 sex offences — one count of sexual interference, seven counts of sexual assault and seven counts of sexual exploitation.
“I couldn’t be more satisfied when a justice brings down the maximum sentence for an offence,” Det. Const. Wayne Adam told reporters after the sentence.
“I’m sure (the) victims feel some vindication, or some closure at least.”
As a designated long-term offender Clachers will receive extensive treatment in jail and will be closely supervised for eight years following his release.
Asked if he felt Clachers could be rehabilitated, Adam responded: “I don’t know.”
“I’m not going to speculate. I know what he did. I know what he’s capable of. I think that’s why the long-term offender order was brought down because he is a high risk to re-offend. (The) community should be satisfied that he’s going to have that intense community supervision order in the community.”
“Mr. Clachers has been smug for quite a while and I didn’t expect him to change his demeanor,” Adam added.
As Corkery reviewed the facts that convicted Clachers — beginning with the first victim– Clachers gently shook his head in disagreement before finally staring straight ahead. When listening to the sentence, he smirked.
Clachers was an engineer for 10 years, worked in construction for 12 years and then turned to education.
In his pre-sentence report, Clachers described himself as a “natural teacher. It’s just what I do.”
He never thought giving his students hugs was a bad idea and “could tell the kids wanted it,” Corkery said reading from the report.
Clachers said he always did it in front of other students and only with a “particular group of kids … team players who were there all the time.”
He’s always denied performing, or attempting to perform, oral sex on some of his victims.
Many of his victims saw Clachers as a father figure. He took advantage of their loneliness and also used his classroom as a venue to pursue more victims, court has heard. He also used alcohol to subdue them during parties at his home.
Allegations against Clachers first surfaced in 2001. In 2008 more allegations were made and Clachers was charged.
Clachers must also provide a DNA sample, is banned from owning any firearms for 10 years and must register on the sexual offender registry for 20 years.
NOTE: Asked if he plans to appeal, Alexander Clachers said he didn’t have a lawyer or any money. “So what do you do?”