Former Cobourg public school principal charged with historical sexual assault on student

Now 78, Douglas Kennedy was previously convicted in 1993 for another sexual assault against a student

An Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) police car. (Photo: OPP)

A former Cobourg public school principal, who had previously been convicted in 1993 of a sexual assault against a student, is facing an historical sexual assault charge from the same time period.

Northumberland Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have arrested and charged 78-year-old Douglas Kennedy of Peterborough with sexual assault related to an incident alleged to have occurred between 1988 to 1991 while the accused man was a principal at Camborne Public School north of Cobourg.

Police began an investigation on November 16 last year after the victim, who was a student at the school at the time and known to the accused man, reported the incident to police.

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More than 30 years ago, Kennedy was convicted of sexually assaulting a male student at the school over a three-year period from 1988 until 1991. According to media reports at the time, the boy was assaulted at Kennedy’s school office, his home, and his cabin. In June 1993, Kennedy was sentenced to two years less a day to be served in a provincial institution.

While prosecutors had asked for a sentence of three to five years in a federal penitentiary, the justice hearing the case said “exceptional circumstances” affected the final sentence, referring to a beating with a baseball bat that Kennedy had received from the student’s stepfather, resulting in two broken legs.

In relation to the historical sexual assault charge, Kennedy is due to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice at a future date.

“There is no stature of limitations on sexual offences and a report can be made to police at any time, regardless of how much time has passed,” reads a media release from the Northumberland OPP. “If you do not wish to make a report to police or need more time and support to make that decision, there are community partners available to help.”

Anyone who has any information about the incident is asked to call the Northumberland OPP at 1-888-310-1122. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at