Despite a number of damning coincidences regarding an allegedly stolen camera and an anonymous email account, a former Vic High teacher adamantly denies stalking two women, and suggested his former roommate framed him.
In Victoria provincial court today, Crown prosecutor Chandra Fisher cross-examined 46-year-old Frank Canacari. He faces two counts of criminal harassment and two counts of unlawfully being in a dwelling house related to complaints made by Tracy Gershman and Erin Meyer. He was arrested at Vic High in June 2010.
Fisher focused on two main points of evidence: an anonymous Gmail account used to send harassing emails to Meyer; and a camera and computer that held photos that indicated someone broke into Gershman’s home.
The camera and the computer
Canacari testified that a computer and a camera had both been stolen from his home on May 21, 2010. Police later found the computer in the garage in his house. Canacari said the camera reappeared on his back doorstep. Both held photos of Gershman’s underwear and the interior of her home.
“The computer and the camera were stolen in May 2010 and your reported it to your insurance,” Fisher said. “Yet both magically reappeared at the house.”
“Yes,” Canacari answered.
“That’s amazing,” Fisher said.
“That’s how I felt,” he replied.
“I don’t know how (the computer) got into the garage. It was stolen,” Canacari said. “I never saw it until I saw a photo the police showed me. I did not know the computer was placed in my garage. It was taken from my home and I made a claim.”
Pressing Canacari on the photos of Gershman’s home, the former teacher suggested the his roommate Terry Bogue, who had moved out of Canacari’s home on May 20, had stolen the gear, planted the incriminating photos and returned both items to Canacari’s home.
Bogue, in his late 50s or early 60s, was described in court as a guy who enjoys marijuana.
“(Bogue) broke into your home on May 21, 2010, stole the computer and the camera, on where he placed illegal material?” Fisher asked.
“I believe it was him. I told West Shore RCMP I believe it was him, yes,” Canacari said.
“Bogue stole the camera?”
Canacari admitted he had been on Gershman’s property and peered in though a patio door, but denied entering her home. He said he had come to her home to retrieve some personal items.
“I never entered her house … I did not have the camera that day,” Canacari said. “You want me to say Terry Bogue, so I’m saying Terry Bogue is who had the camera. … I did not take those pictures (of Gershman’s home).”
Canacari said the camera reappeared on his back porch a few days after being stolen. “Wouldn’t it make more sense if Bogue put incriminating pictures on the camera and turned them over to the police?” Fisher asked.
“I don’t know. You should ask him.”
Bogue testified earlier in the week that Canacari had talked openly about breaking into both women’s homes, taking items and sending harassing emails and phone calls.
The Gmail account
In terms of the Gmail account used to send anonymous harassing emails, Fisher brought out evidence to show the account had been accessed both on the computer at Canacari’s home (that was later allegedly stolen but found in the garage) and from a computer at Vic High.
On May 20, 2010, police called Canacari and told him to no longer contact Meyer, and he admitted he tried to delete the Gmail account.
Canacari said a note on his desk at home in Bogue’s handwriting had the Gmail account and password information, and said he felt he was being “set up” regarding what was on the computer. He asked a computer expert to wipe the computer and save a copy on a hard drive.
He didn’t keep Bogue’s alleged note.
“I knew I was not guilty of anything so I wasn’t that worried about (the note), but I was worried about what police would find on the computer.”
“You are alleging Terry Bogue fabricated the whole history of emails to Erin (Meyer)?” Fisher said.
“I said I didn’t do it,” he said.
“In (Bogue’s) diabolical scheme he left you the password and (Gmail) account access?”
Fisher said the Gmail account was accessed from a Vic High computer on May 17, 2010. Canacari testified that on that day, he brought Bogue to Vic High with him and allowed his roommate access to a computer in his class, allowed him to “wander through the school,” and take a book from the library, while Canacari taught his students.
“Did anyone question why he was there?” Fisher asked.
“He was a friend of mine. No one questioned that, no one said he shouldn’t be there … It happened quite often,” Canacari asserted. “I’ve had my kids at the back of the class while I teach.”
Fisher said details of the anonymous emails sent to Meyer suggested the author was watching and following her at her house and her boyfriend’s house. “Clearly the author of these emails was following and watching her.”
“I did not follow her. I did not watch her,” Canacari said.
Near the end of the day’s testimony, Fisher noted that in the early hours of May 21, 2010, Canacari’s SD61 school email account was used to send three emails to Meyer’s boyfriend.
Canacari denied sending emails to the man, or even knowing Meyer was dating him – again he suggested Bogue could have entered his house unbeknownst to him, accessed the account and sent the emails.
Closing arguments are expected on Monday.