I never tried to kill the boys, says Parktown Boys sex accused
Collan Rex claims choking and strangling was all part of 'bonding exercise'
Former Parktown Boys High School assistant water coach Collan Rex has “strongly” denied all the sexual assault claims against him, although he admitted to strangling and choking the boys as part of “a bonding exercise”.
During Rex’s cross-examination in the Johannesburg High Court on Tuesday, Rex, 22, denied that he penetrated a boy with his finger, that he held a number of boys’ genitals, that he put his mouth on the genitals of another in his room and that he “dry-humped” the genitals of three of the boys.
A number of boys, aged between 16 and 18, testified in the past few weeks about the alleged incidents which occurred in 2016.
Last week, one of the boys, now aged 16, testified how Rex, who was also a boarding master, invited the boy to his room towards the end of 2016‚ offering to massage his back.
“I said yes. He then started doing other things afterwards. He started to take my underwear off. I tried to stop him. He put my genitals on his mouth. I pushed him away and I left‚” the boy told the court.
The boy said he could not remember how long Rex performed the sexual act on him as it happened a long time ago‚ but estimated it could have been for about 10 seconds.
During cross-examination on Tuesday, prosecutor Arveena Persad said it was possible that Rex was alone with the boy in his room, and not with the fellow boarding master he was staying with, when the incident occurred.
Rex said he could not say where his fellow boarding master was.
“I strongly deny doing that to him. I don’t understand why he would not have reported the incident,” Rex said.
While admitting that he choked and strangled the boys when he wrestled them, Rex said repeatedly on the accusations of choking that there was never an intent or attempt on his part to kill them.
Persad pointed out to him that one of the witnesses passed out when he was choked, but Rex said the rules of the bonding exercise were that he should have “tapped out”.
“If I wanted to kill him, I would not have stopped,” Rex said.
It also emerged that Rex worked at the school immediately after matriculating from the school in 2013.
He told Acting Judge Peet Johnson that he became the school’s assistant water polo coach.
He also told Johnson that he had a layman’s knowledge of wrestling.
When asked whether he knew how to wrestle, Rex said a friend in matric showed him “one or two things”.
Rex said he watched the sport on the WWE show and that he used the headlock on the pupils as he saw it on WWE.
Rex told the judge that it was part of wrestling that when an opponent taps out, the one holding him had to release him.
The court will hear closing arguments from the prosecution and defence on Friday. Johnson is expected to hand down judgment on Monday.
While Rex faced 342 counts when his trial began last month, he now faces 142 counts ranging from attempted murder and sexual assault, to assault and rape and exposing a minor to pornography.
At the start of his trial last month, Rex pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault against 12 of the 23 boys who are complainants in the sex scandal that has rocked the school.
The charges were further reduced on Monday when the court acquitted him on a further 41 counts.