Sex trial begins for ex-teacher

MONDAY marked the opening of the trial in Stanthorpe of a former teacher accused of having sexual relations with a student.

The defendant is facing six charges – five counts of unlawfully and indecently dealing with a child under 16 years of age and one count of rape – to all of which he has pleaded not guilty.

It is alleged the incidents occurred between February 28, 2006 and January 1, 2007.

The Crown Prosecutor and the defence yesterday chose the panel of jurors who will sit through the District Court trial this week , going through 23 potential candidates before reaching their final 12.

It is expected the prosecution and the defence will call upon various witnesses from the school, and use evidence in the form of emails, MSN conversations and letters exchanged between the defendant and the student.

The prosecution indicated that witnesses would include a local school teacher and friends of the alleged victim.

Yesterday morning, both the defence and the prosecution applied to oppose various pieces of evidence on the basis of hearsay.

What followed was a fiery exchange between the prosecution and defence, with the prosecution arguing more time was needed for adequate research on certain topics raised.

The defence’s response was that it was the Crown’s responsibility “to present its evidence properly”.

Another document of evidence was called on by both the prosecution and the defence, with the two sides requesting various amendments.

The trial is expected to continue most of the week.



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