Former teacher takes the stand on sexual assault charges

A former Cooma high school teacher gave evidence in the Queanbeyan District Court on Thursday related to his charges of having sex with a student.

The man pleaded guilty in April to two charges of aggravated sexual intercourse of a child between 10 to 14 years of age.

He told the court he “didn’t see the harm” when his student “gave me some attention”.

He said it wasn’t his intention for the relationship to become “intimate” but “one thing led to another”.

The offences occurred in 2005.

According to the agreed facts of the case, tendered in Queanbeyan Local Court, the young student and the teacher struck up a relationship in late 2004.

In early 2005, the victim and offender met twice at a local park. On their second meeting, the teacher kissed the young girl. The relationship escalated and the victim began to visit the offender at his home.

It was on two occasions at the man's house that he had sex with the young girl. On the first occasion, court documents said, he took her virginity.

On the stand, the accused told the court he deserved to be punished and admitted to having a lasting impact on his victim.

“I think she would have suffered psychological harm,” he said. “She would definitely be withdrawn.”

Police were notified of the alleged assaults in March, 2005. The victim told her school friends she was having sex with the teacher, and one of the friends told her mother.

Police searched the man's house and questioned the girl, who said the pair were friends but did not allege impropriety. The teacher refused to be interviewed.

An AVO was served on the man later the same day. He advised police he was leaving Cooma to return to his parent's home closer to Sydney.

The pair continued to be in contact via telephone. In August that year, the accused told the officer in charge the girl was still contacting him.

When the victim was interviewed by police in December, 2005, she told police the pair had had sex. Police did not lay charges.

The investigation was reopened in 2010 when a statement was provided to police.

In 2012, the offender was contacted by police and was informed the victim had made several allegations against him.

The accused did not apply for bail on Thursday and cried as he awaited being taken into custody.

He is due to be sentenced in Sydney on June 23.

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