21 Oct 2015

Teacher denies sexual contact with boy

8:04 pm on 21 October 2015

A teacher accused of sexually abusing a boy has denied having any sexual or text message contact with him.

The woman, whose name is suppressed, has begun giving evidence in the High Court in Wellington, where she is on trial on a range of charges including indecent assault, sexual violation and unlawful sexual connection.

The Crown says the woman began an intimate relationship with the boy and frequently exchanged text messages with him, when he was aged between 10 and 13.

However the woman denied that any of those things ever happened and said she had never told him she loved him.

She said boys from a sports team she coached held a sleepover at the house where she and her mother lived, but she said on that occasion she was house-sitting for a friend at another property.

The woman told the jury that, in the decile 1 school at which she taught, the pupils had many issues going on in their lives and the school was sometimes involved in feeding them, dressing them and helping them overcome emotional damage

She said the boy involved in the case had several issues and had admitted lying to other boys about sleeping with her. That had never happened and she had never told him she loved him, she said.

She wept as she again denied the abuse: "As a mother I would never do that to a child, never. And I would be very, very hurt if my son was the one going through this."

Earlier this week another teenaged boy told the Court the woman had sent him photographs of her breasts.

But the woman denied that today, saying the photos in question had been taken by her ex-partner and she had no idea of how they would have ended up on the teen's phone.

Crown prosecutor Dale La Hood asked her whether the boy was fragile after the death of his father and able to be manipulated. She replied that he had been the manipulator on many occasions.

A colleague of the woman told the Court this morning she believed the defendant treated the complainant as a favourite, but the defendant denied that.

The woman said another boy told her the complainant said she had had a sexual relationship with him.

She said she spoke to the boy and he admitted he had told a lie and apologised to the other boys.

The woman said she did not speak to anyone else at the school about it because she did not want the boy to be more humiliated.

Mr La Hood also closely questioned the woman about her use of a particular cellphone.

He pointed out that the phone records showed, for example, that a text had been sent to the complainant from that phone just eight seconds after it was used to text the woman's beautician.

The defendant said she had been advised for health reasons not to use a cellphone, but she sometimes borrowed phones from other people if she needed to send a text.

She said many of her friends used the same beautician as her and it was possible someone else had used the phone to text the beautician and the boy.

There were also texts on the phone saying 'hi mummy' but she said it was possible the phone belonged to another mother.

Earlier this week the boy said the woman had told him she was carrying the child, but the defendant denied that when cross-examined.

Mr La Hood suggested that telling the boy she was pregnant would be another way of keeping control of him, but the woman said pregnancy was a blessing and she would not make up stuff like that.

The boy had earlier told the Court he understood the woman had gone to hospital and the baby "had been killed", but the woman said she wouldn't have had an abortion because she had been trying for ages to have another baby since the birth of her son.

Cross-examination of the woman will continue on Thursday morning and it was likely all the evidence will be completed by the end of the day.

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