Shocking details laid bare in sex-pest teacher case
Parents sobbed quietly in court as ex-Parktown Boys' High boarding master pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault
A former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ High School allegedly pulled a 15-year-old pupil’s “genital organs and pubic hair” on 57 occasions, and also tried to strangle him about 20 times, between 2015 and 2016.
Collan Rex, 22, who was a boarding master at the Johannesburg school, is also accused of showing another boy the erotic movie Fifty Shades of Grey on his laptop while stroking his face before whipping his legs.
Shocking details of Rex’s lewd acts with the boys, who were between 13 and 16 years old, are laid bare in a 76-page indictment which outlines the 327 counts he is facing.
These include one count of rape, 110 counts of attempted murder, 199 counts of sexual assault, seven of exposure of pornography to a child, two of sexual grooming and eight of assault. A total of 23 boys are complainants in the case.
Rex pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault against 12 of the 23 boys in the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Katlehong, east of Johannesburg, on Tuesday.He stared straight ahead as the prosecutor, advocate Arveena Persad, read out each of the counts to which he admitted guilt. Several parents in the courtroom sobbed quietly as they listened.
The counts of sexual assault to which he pleaded guilty involved him “dry humping” pupils by rubbing his genitals against the pupils while both were fully clothed.
Rex calmly told Acting Judge Peet Johnson he understood that he was not obliged to make any admissions. “Are you aware it boils down to a plea of guilty?” the acting judge Johnson asked. Rex replied yes.
According to the indictment, some of the offences took place in a room at the school where the boys completed their homework under Rex’s supervision.During one of the homework sessions the accused allegedly made a penis out of playdough and told one of the boys to suck it.
One another occasion, while a pupil was bending over to put his books into his bag, Rex allegedly grabbed him by his genitals and “lifted him in the air” and assaulted him.
In an incident in the dormitory, Rex allegedly choked a pupil who “could not get out of the accused’s lock and subsequently passed out”.
In another count of attempted murder, he allegedly choked a pupil while supervising homework, which resulted in the pupil battling to breathe.
He is also accused of showing porn to several pupils, and hitting a pupil with a broom on two occasions.Rex’s rape charge stems from an incident in 2016 when he is alleged to have committed an act of sexual penetration with a 14-year-old pupil “by penetrating his anus with his finger without his consent”.
He was caught on a surveillance camera fondling a 15-year-old in the school’s hostel in November 2016. He was arrested soon afterwards and granted bail a month later. Rex was one of the school’s star water polo players when he was a pupil.
A couple who attended the court proceedings and whose son is among the complainants, declined to comment on Rex’s admission of guilt to 144 counts of sexual assault.
The case was postponed to Monday when state witnesses are expected to testify in connection with the remaining charges against him.