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Australia Trinity College teachers face trial over failure to report alleged sexual assault of student by rugby teammates

02:15  25 march  2020
02:15  25 march  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

Trinity College former principal 'stunned' by alleged sex assault of student on rugby tour

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a sign on the side of a road next to a tree: The exclusive Trinity College sits on the banks of the Swan River in East Perth. (Supplied: Saint Lucy) © Supplied: Saint Lucy The exclusive Trinity College sits on the banks of the Swan River in East Perth. (Supplied: Saint Lucy)

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers may find upsetting

A schoolboy has told a court he was forced face-down onto a bed by teammates, his pants pulled down and sexually assaulted with a carrot while on an international rugby tour representing Perth's prestigious Trinity College

The alleged incident was outlined by the victim, who yesterday gave evidence in the Perth Magistrates Court trial of two of the teachers who supervised the tour and have been charged under mandatory reporting laws.

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While college students experienced lower rates of rape and sexual assault than non- students in 1995-2013, their average annual rate was still The report also found differences between the two groups for where these attacks occurred. Fifty-one percent of student rape and sexual assault

But in sexual assault cases, failure to resist can be one of the biggest sticking points for jurors. Often both sides acknowledge that a sex act occurred, and the question is To contrast sexual assault with other types of crime, Ms. Valliere said, she often shows a photograph of the Boston Marathon bombing.

Ian Francis Hailes and Anthony Paul Webb have both pleaded not guilty to failing to report suspected child sexual abuse.

They are the only people to be charged as a result of the alleged incident at a Japanese hotel on the outskirts of Tokyo in April 2017.

Trinity College is a Catholic boys' school on the banks of the Swan River and is jointly governed by Catholic Education WA and Edmund Rice Education Australia, which oversees Christian Brothers schools throughout Australia, including St Kevin's in Melbourne.

Alleged sexual assault followed bullying

The victim — whose identity has been supressed and is being referred to as AB — told his story via video link, explaining how he had been repeatedly bullied on the 10-day trip.

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But the most "traumatic event", for which he is still getting counselling, happened as he was relaxing on a tatami floor mattress one evening, chatting to a fellow student and playing games on his phone.

AB told the court a group of about 10 boys burst into the room, flipped him over and pulled down his pants and "aggressively" and "rapidly" forced the carrot into him.

He said he was very embarrassed by the incident, so afterwards he tried to ignore other people and force himself to go to sleep.

"I didn't want it to escalate into a big thing with everyone talking about," he said.

Allegations raised at meeting run by teachers

He said he raised the incident with teachers at what was known as a "fines session", a mealtime meeting run by Mr Hailes and Mr Webb where student misdemeanours would be raised and those responsible would pay a 100-yen fine into a dish.

He said he told the meeting in the hotel cafeteria that "you know what went on" and wanted the perpetrators to acknowledge the incident, pay a fine and then stop talking about it.

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He told the court that he had mentioned to both teachers what had happened, with Mr Webb later asking him whether he wanted the issue followed up, to which he replied "no".

When he returned to his room from the cafeteria, some of the boys began to call him a "snitch".

Students speak of culture of bullying at school

Year 10, 11 and 12 students took part in the 10-day tour to Japan, where they played rugby against Japanese teams and also enjoyed some sightseeing and shopping.

One of the younger students on tour gave evidence about a culture of bullying of younger students by the "alpha male" older students, including "fight clubs", threats that they would be the next to "get the carrot" and name calling.

He told the court that he witnessed AB's alleged assault — describing what he saw as "excessive force and malicious intent".

He said he helped AB out and asked him if he was OK afterwards.

But he said he was scared and intimidated by the alleged perpetrators and didn't want the same thing to happen to him.

"I am inferior to them," he said.

"The intimidation shocks you into a quietness."

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Another of the students who gave evidence said that terms like "carrot boy" were being bandied around and that bullying was part of the Trinity Rugby Club's culture.

They both said Mr Hailes had warned the tour group to stop harassing AB.

AB said he never spoke about the incident again until he was questioned by a senior staff member about five months after they returned to Australia.

Not long after, a mandatory report was made.

The trial before Magistrate Evan Shackleton is continuing.

SUPPORT SERVICES

1800 Respect - National counselling helpline - Telephone: 1800 737 732

Bravehearts

- Counselling and support for survivors of child sexual abuse - Telephone: 1800 272 831

Child Wise

- Counselling provider - Telephone: 1800 991 099

Lifeline

- 24-hour crisis support and suicide prevention - Telephone: 13 11 14

Care Leavers Australia Network

- 1800 008 774

PartnerSPEAK

- Peer support for non-offending partners - (03) 9018 7872

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