Sex teacher handed out fake re­ports

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - SARAH CRAWFORD

A TEACHER who ad­mit­ted to hav­ing a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship with a Year 12 stu­dent had pre­vi­ously been in­ves­ti­gated for fal­si­fy­ing stu­dent as­sess­ments.

The Daily Tele­graph has viewed a let­ter penned by the teacher — known only as PJ — to the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion where he ad­mits to fal­si­fy­ing Year 11 and Year 12 stu­dent as­sess­ments in the class he was teach­ing over three years at a Port Stephens school.

The 52-year-old teacher — whose iden­tity has been sup­pressed — came to pub­lic at­ten­tion this week when he got off crim­i­nal charges of hav­ing un­law­ful sex with a 17-year-old fe­male stu­dent be­cause she was not in his class at the time.

The man ad­mit­ted to hav­ing sex with the girl three times in his house and in his van in 2015.

A year be­fore the af­fair, the teacher wrote a let­ter to the depart­ment’s Em­ployee Per­for­mance and Con­duct Elec­torate admi ting to falsely in­di­cat­ing that his stu­dents in 2012, 2013 and 2014 had com­pleted 70 work place­ment hours for the course. He also ad­mit­ted “whit­ing out” names on as­sess­ment re­ports and writ­ing oth­ers in their place.

In the let­ter he writes: “I (PJ) ad­mit to and take full re­spon­si­bil­ity for my ac­tions.”

He blamed his bad be­hav­iour on the “state of de­spair” he fell into in De­cem­ber 2012 af­ter his mar­riage broke down when he found out his wife had an af­fair. “It was dur­ing this state of de­pres­sion and in­abil­ity to func­tion nor­mally that I fal­si­fied the above men­tioned doc­u­men­ta­tion,” he wrote.

The Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion de­clined to com­ment what dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was taken against the teacher for fal­si­fy­ing the as­sess­ments, say­ing it was sub­ject to pri­vacy laws.

PJ was ar­rested in Fe­bru­ary 2016 and charged with three counts of hav­ing sex with a 17- to 18-year-old un­der his spe­cial care.

But the prose­cu­tion against him was stayed in the Dis­trict Court as his de­fence team suc­cess­fully ar­gued that for the charges to be proven, the man had to have been teach­ing the girl at the time. The girl had not been in his class since 2013.

Af­ter his ar­rest, the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment re­moved the man from school and put him in an ad­min­is­tra­tive role in a mid­north coast of­fice. Yes­ter­day, al­most two years af­ter charges were laid, he was sus­pended with­out pay, with a spokesman say­ing the “ac­tion was taken pend­ing a dis­ci­plinary in­ves­ti­ga­tion”.

NSW At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Mark Speak­man has or­dered a re­view of the law.

The sus­pended teacher and how the Tele broke the story on Tues­day.

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