Sex pest: Boys talk of wrestling, choking every night
Three victims give harrowing accounts of sexual abuse at Parktown Boys’ High
Collan Rex looked “very worried” when a boy he choked lost consciousness, the court heard on Tuesday as three victims gave harrowing accounts of sexual abuse at Parktown Boys’ High in Johannesburg.
“Rex started shaking him. At first he looked a bit worried. After he had woken up he (Rex) almost tried to laugh it off,” an 18-year-old testified.
He told how Rex asked them to tap him if they found that they could not breathe while he wrestled with them. He also testified that he saw Rex holding pupils’ genitals and asking them to whistle before he let go.
He could recollect the names of three pupils who were sexually assaulted by Rex.
“He came to our rooms nearly every night after the prep session (the homework session) when he was on duty. He came and wrestled us and choked us.”Asked by defence advocate William Robertse whether it was simply not play wrestling, he said he did not think so as it was an “extremely strong hold”. The three pupils taking the stand were allegedly abused by sex pest accused Rex.
A 17-year-old became emotional after describing in the High Court sitting at the Palmridge magistrates court in Katlehong east of Johannesburg, how the former assistant water polo coach at Parktown Boys’ would grab pupils by their “nuts” and would only let go if they whistled.
Speaking with the assistance of an intermediary because he is under the age of 18, he also described how Rex made him watch the erotic movie Fifty Shades of Grey.
Rex, 22, admitted guilt last week to 144 counts of sexual assault involving 12 schoolboys. “He would tease boys, insult them and make them feel less than what they are,” said the teenager.
Cross-examining the pupil, Robertse denied that Fifty Shades of Grey was a porn movie. “The accused before the court had a cinema-friendly version of Fifty Shades of Grey on his laptop,” Robertse said.
The pupil said it was not child friendly. He said on one occasion Rex also bit him while he was in the swimming pool.
Acting Judge Peet Johnson asked him why he remembered being bitten only in 2018 when the incident took place in 2016. “Why did you wait that long?”
The pupil said it was a painful memory and he wanted to forget about it.The witnesses also described how Rex would wrestle with pupils, choking some of them until they lost consciousness.
A former pupil, 17, who testified with the help of an intermediary, demonstrated how Rex put him into a “head lock” while wrestling. “There was force with aggression,” he said.
He said Rex had wrestled him about 10 times.
Wiping away tears, the teenager said he could not breathe after Rex started wrestling with him during one incident after water polo practice.
Asked by Robertse to describe why Rex had head locked him, he said: “I don’t know. We were close at the start then the whole situation unfolded.
“I think I was scared of him, that’s why I didn’t ask. In dormitories wrestling was normal but Rex brought aggression with it,” he said.
Robertse told the witness: “What Mr Rex did to you was normal and he had no intention to kill you.”
“I don’t know because Rex would choke us until we could not breathe,” said the witness.
A fourth pupil is expected to testify on Wednesday.