Teacher paid boy for sex, photos

2014-09-09 09:05


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Jeff Wicks, The Witness

Durban - A respected Durban drama teacher and convicted sex predator paid one of his pupils a total of R35 000 over six months in exchange for nude pictures, masturbation videos and sex.

This emerged as the 48-year-old teacher, who has been in custody for three weeks since his arrest, applied for bail in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Details of how the teacher groomed at least two of his pupils, plying them with gifts and money in exchange for illicit pictures, videos and sexual favours, emerged.

He faces 11 counts of possession, production and procurement of child pornography.

His arrest came after a discreet investigation into drugs at a top Durban high school two weeks ago, and has rocked the education and drama fraternity.

Damning pornographic images of teenage boys were found on several of the teacher’s laptops, which were seized along with his cellphone.

The teacher cannot be named until he pleads in court.

Cellphone evidence

Opposing the teacher’s application for bail, police investigating officer Luke Tancrel said that they had identified four victims, but the 11 charges were formulated based on two sworn affidavits.

He said a cellphone had been seized from a pupil who had been taught by the teacher.

“It contains evidence of BBM conversations of the applicant offering to pay a large amount of money to the pupil for sexual favours; and to take photographs and videos of the pupil naked and masturbating,” he said.

“There were also other naked pictures of boys who I suspected to be under the age of 18.”

“I have positively identified a further three pupils at schools where the applicant taught, whom he offered money in exchange for naked photographs and sex.”

Tancrel added a search of the teacher’s numerous laptops revealed a cache of child porn in various forms, all of which was home-made.

The officer said the teacher gained the boys’ trust using BBM and WhatsApp.

“In one case, the applicant paid one of his pupils R35 000 over the course of six months in exchange for naked pictures and sexual favours.”

“He got them [his pupils] to invite them on a chat and he used that then to groom them. First he would ask for pictures of their muscles and offer to pay for them.

“Then he would ask for pictures of their genitals and the price would increase. Then it was videos and visits to his house.”

Tancrel said he would photograph the boys having sex and showering.

Bail opposed

Tancrel opposed bail, insisting that the teacher may interfere with victims not yet known to the police.

“We have lots of pictures of these boys and we haven’t been able to identify them all yet,” he said.

The teacher’s attorney Nerissa Farrington challenged Tancrel’s testimony, saying it was “based on opinion and not on fact”.

Magistrate Paul Cartwright will hear closing arguments and decide whether or not bail will be granted on Thursday.

Read more on:    durban  |  child abuse  |  education  |  pornography

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