Former female basketball players at the high school in La Ronge described feeling embarrassed, angry and uncomfortable after they claimed their old coach made them strip during certain practices.
Five witnesses testified into the professional misconduct disciplinary hearing for Martina Cain, who now – more than 30 years later – is seeing four allegations brought up against her from the mid-to-late 1980s when she taught at the school. The public was first made aware in late 2016 when the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board issued a notice a hearing would take place.
A six-member discipline committee listened to the accounts of witnesses Tuesday, most of whom were under the age of 18 at the time of the allegations, including one former student who first put forth the complaints. At that time, she was an RCMP officer up for relocation to La Ronge, but said she couldn’t police there after what happened.
Aside from stripping, she also claimed Cain asked her to remove her clothes and come in a hot tub with the teacher. During her testimony, she recalled Cain allegedly forcing her to steal a food tray at an A&W restaurant.
“I was a tool to steal it,” she claimed during the hearing.
The former student also testified her and Cain slept in the same bed as many as 18 times while her parents were out of town. While she testified the two were close to each other in the bed, there was no inappropriate touching and they were clothed.
The other witnesses remembered having to shed pieces of clothing during basketball practices if they missed a shot from the free-throw line, as directed by Cain. Socks, shoes, a shirt, shorts and even a bra were said to be some of the items that were removed.
“What else am I going to take off,” questioned another former student.
Those testifying said they never brought up the issue before because they weren’t sure if this was normal activity during practices, and while they felt awkward, didn’t want to come forward out of fear they would be benched.
Jay Watson, the lawyer representing Cain, questioned whether students were forced to remove clothing or if they did so themselves. During the sleep-overs, Watson established the two were always clothed.
He said Cain would be called to testify Wednesday. The hearing is scheduled to wrap up that day, although it’s not known when a decision will be made by the discipline committee.