Teacher ‘paid student $29k for silence’ after sex: court

 

WARNING: Graphic

A Sydney high school teacher allegedly told a teenage boy he looked "sexy" and asked if he thought her breasts were "too big" as she ramped up her attempts to normalise their growing attraction, a court has heard.

Gaye Lee McKeown allegedly plied students at Birrong Boys' High School with cigarettes, alcohol and compliments as she groomed them for sexual relationships in the 1990s.

Then known as Mrs Smith, the English teacher was a married 27-year-old at the time prosecutors allege she had oral and vaginal sex with two boys, 15, at the school over the course of a month more than 20 years ago.

It is alleged the incidents took place at the school and nearby suburbs, including her home at Picnic Point, a park in Yagoona, a Panania granny flat and the carpark of Wollongong beach.

One of the boys was allegedly paid almost $30,000 for his ongoing silence, her District Court trial heard on Tuesday.

Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) was charged in 2017. Picture: 7 News
Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) was charged in 2017. Picture: 7 News

McKeown has pleaded not guilty to 21 charges before the court, including several counts of sexual intercourse without consent and indecent assault, and one of inciting an indecent assault - all aggravated by the allegation the boys were underage and under her care at the time.

Now 50, McKeown looked every bit the teacher sitting at a desk behind the bar table, pen in hand and scribbling notes. She wore glasses and a black blouse, with a stringy shawl around her neck.

Crown prosecutor David Patch told the jury she "gradually transformed" academic compliments to flirting in the schoolyard, telling one boy "aren't we a sexy man today", that he had "hot legs" and "really cute eyes".

Later it's alleged she asked him to carry books into a storage shed with her, where she unbuttoned her shirt to show her cleavage: "Do you like my breasts? Do you think they're too big?"

Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) allegedly committed the offences more than 20 years ago. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dylan Coker
Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) allegedly committed the offences more than 20 years ago. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dylan Coker

The jury heard that after noticing he had an erection, she allegedly told the boy it was "normal" and nice to know he found her attractive.

Soon after she allegedly began initiating sex with the boy, with the first time during school hours at the home she shared with her husband and child.

"That is so hot," she allegedly said, grabbing the boy's erect penis and placing it in her mouth.

Afterwards it is alleged she told the teen: "Make sure you don't tell a single person about any of this … otherwise we'll both be in the sh*t."

On another occasion she allegedly said to the boy "I want to taste you again" before giving him oral sex.

McKeown admits that she did have sex with the first complainant but claims that was only after he turned 16 and when she was no longer working at the school.

Mr Patch said when the boy decided to break it off with the teacher, she allegedly paid him $29,000 to "buy his silence", and the two did not speak again until 2017.

It is alleged the former teacher formed relationships with two boys at the school in Birrong.
It is alleged the former teacher formed relationships with two boys at the school in Birrong.

That conversation was allegedly recorded by police and led to McKeown being charged in December of that year.

But the court heard the former teacher denies any sexual or indecent contact with the second complainant.

It is alleged she would grab the boys' crotches and guide their hands into her vagina as they kissed.

Mr Patch told the jury on one occasion McKeown sat on a desk in front of the second boy wearing a short skirt so that he could see her underpants.

She would allegedly drive the boys from school to the shops and their rendezvous points, sometimes asking them to put their seats down to avoid being seen together.

Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) after her first court appearance in 2018. Picture: 7 News
Gaye Lee McKeown (centre) after her first court appearance in 2018. Picture: 7 News

The jury was told that one time when she was allegedly driving one boy from a sports game, she grabbed his crutch and told him: "Show me how you use it."

He would give evidence during the trial she would later seduce him for sex in the car and other locations several times, Mr Patch told the court.

Mr Patch said whether or not the boys were consenting was "irrelevant" as they were underage at the time of the alleged incidents.

The trial continues before Judge John Pickering.

Originally published as Teacher 'paid for silence' after sex: court



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