A former Australian teacher who taught some of the country’s most vulnerable kids will serve 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to four counts of indecent assault.
Police charged Sydney-based teacher Peter Williams with six counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16.
Williams, 51, has been a teaching assistant at the Alice Springs Christian Schools since February 2016.
He was sentenced in the ACT Supreme Court on Tuesday and will be eligible for parole after serving 18 months.
In sentencing, Justice Robert Kelly said he accepted that the case was unusual.
“There are a few things that make this case very unusual.
The most important is that it was an isolated incident, not a pattern of offending,” Justice Kelly said.”
This case demonstrates that it is not uncommon for a teacher or school assistant to have sex with a young child, particularly if that child is vulnerable, in a private place,” he said.
Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of indecency with a person under the legal drinking age, a crime that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.
He was also charged with two counts each of indecent touching, two counts indecent exposure, two charges of indecently assaulting a child and two counts sexual assault of a child.
“Mr Williams pleaded guilty because he did not understand the law, did not believe it applied to him, and was prepared to accept that he had committed an offence,” Justice Thomas said.
“I would be satisfied that he should not be allowed to teach again.”‘
No-one could see it’A court document from the case showed the alleged victims were aged between 12 and 16 at the time of the alleged offence.
One victim told the court she had been in tears after the alleged incident.
“I was so shocked, I was crying in the court,” she told the ABC.
Williams also faces two other charges, each of which carries a penalty of between four and 12 months in custody.
He will also have to serve two years of supervised release.
The court heard that the sex was consensual and there was no threat to anyone’s safety.
It was only after the court heard the victim was in tears that the alleged offending occurred, Justice Kelly told the sentencing.
Justice Kelly said the court had heard evidence of Williams’ behaviour in other instances, but it was difficult to imagine what might have motivated him to do it in this particular case.
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