A Western Sydney-based schoolteacher faces a slew of charges after her alleged victim accused her of sexual assault.
As several news outlets reported, the 23-year-old female teacher – who has yet to be named – was formally charged with 10 offences when a 14-year-old boy went to authorities claiming she engaged in unwanted sexual acts with him. Those charges include aggravated sexual intercourse and intentionally touching a child between the ages of 10 and 16, the Daily Mail reported.
Abuse took place on and off school grounds, investigators say
The alleged incidents are believed to have taken place over a period of one month, as investigators launched an inquiry into the teenager's claim shortly after he came forward. Police say the encounters transpired both on and off school premises.
Speaking to reporters, NSW Police Detective Acting Superintendent Michael Haddow said what the accused is alleged to have done runs contrary to what teachers are supposed to do – protect young people.
"It's abhorrent," Haddow said, as reported by 7 News and The Daily Mail. "Ultimately, teachers have a significant responsibility. There's a significant power shift between a teacher and a student and suddenly the amount of trust that we put in our teachers and certainly the allegation before the courts are a significant breach of that trust.
The teacher was taken into custody after a police investigation corroborated the teenage boy's account. Shortly after placing her under arrest and bringing her to the Bankstown Police Station, officers returned and seized an electronic device, personal computer and her vehicle, 7 News reported. One of the alleged encounters occurred inside the car, according to the student.
The investigation remains ongoing. It is not yet known whether the alleged perpetrator was the student's teacher or if he took any of her classes. She remains in custody and was refused bail in Parramatta Bail Court.
Department of Education won't comment until after investigation
The teacher's employment status moving forward has yet to be revealed, but the NSW Department of Education submitted a brief statement to the press.
"The safety and well-being of students is the number one priority of the department," the statement read, as reported by the Daily Mail. "The department is aware of an alleged incident involving an employee [but as police are investigating this matter, it is not appropriate for us to comment at this time."