Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Melbourne Teacher Had Group Sex With Teen Students

MELBOURNE, AUS - A TEACHER had alcohol-fuelled sex with a student and her friend during a school trip to Gallipoli, a court heard yesterday.

The former physical education teacher, Travis Glenn Robertson, 27, had group sex with the teenage girls on three occasions, once sharing a motel room with the pair, the County Court was told. Robertson was a substitute teacher at Templestowe College in 2001 when he began a relationship with a 15-year-old schoolgirl. Prosecutor Michele Williams told the court the student resisted his advances several times, but he persisted.

Between 2001 and 2003, Robertson sent 589 text messages to her mobile phone and called her 359 times. During a school excursion to Anzac Cove in April 2003, Robertson entered the room the girl was sharing with a former student and had sex with both of them. The three had sex again in his Doncaster home the following month, and in June in a Preston motel room.

He pleaded guilty yesterday to eight sex offences, including sexual penetration of a child under 16. The court heard the relationship ended when the girl left school in 2003 and Robertson, who was then the Year 9 co-ordinator, started dating a fellow teacher. The illicit affair came to light when the girl, now 19, made a statement to police early this year. In a phone conversation recorded by detectives, Robertson admitted he had been old enough to know better. "There was no way I ever wanted to hurt you or take advantage of you," he told her. Defence lawyer Philip Dunn, QC, said his client's crimes could not be compared with those of disgraced sports teachers Gavin Hopper and Karen Ellis -- both of whom were jailed over affairs with students.

He told the court Robertson was a young and inexperienced teacher guilty of the occasional transgression with his student. "This is not the case of somebody who's forged an ongoing relationship like Hopper . . . This is somebody who has been caught up in emotions," he said. "He's obviously attached to her and likes her a lot, and yet there is some discretion." Mr Dunn said that Robertson was a hard-working, decent and honest man who had destroyed his career. Judge Jim Duggan remanded Robertson in custody and will sentence him at a later date.

Source: HeraldSun.com.au

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