Rex jailed: ‘A serial sex offender and bully’
Former assistant water polo coach Parktown Boys High school will spend 23 years in prison
The defence had asked for a suspended sentence, but sex pest Collan Rex, formerly of Parktown Boys High, was on Thursday sentenced to an effective 24 years in prison.
During the closing arguments on Thursday morning, prosecutor Arveena Persad had asked for Rex, the former Parktown Boys High assistant water polo coach who was found guilty of 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of assault in September, to be sentenced to 25 years in jail.
The defence had asked for Rex to be sentenced to a suspended jail term.
However, South Gauteng High Court acting judge Peet Johnson imposed the harshest term possible for Rex, sentencing him to 20 years in jail for sexual assault and three years for assault.
The South African Male Survivors of Sexual Assault (Samsosa) and Women and Men Against Child Abuse welcomed the lengthy sentence.
“We believe the sentence handed down sends a clear indication of the severity of sexual assaults and what types of sentences should be handed down.
“The boys who have spoken out are the heroes, and they have stopped a predator from committing the same offences to others. They have stopped thousands of boys from experiencing the trauma they went through,” Samsosas founder Rees Mann said on behalf of the two organisations.
He said the sentence should send an indication to other judges that sexual abuse deserved severe sentences.
Rees said that, of late, some of the sentences for sexual assault did not represent the scale of damage felt by the victim.
The Bikers Against Bullies South Africa, whose members have been attending the sentencing proceedings from Tuesday, also welcomed the sentence.
Its national vice-president David Kolm said: “This is the best possible sentence we could have hoped for. We were absolutely overjoyed.”
Kolm said the sentence sent a clear message that anybody who abused children should be severely dealt with.
“The sentencing is not the end of the road, because there is a long road to recovery for the boys and their parents.
“As happy as we are with the outcome, there are still deeper underlying issues at the school that needs to be dealt with,” Kolm said.
Rex was found guilty in September following testimony of a number of boys from the prominent Johannesburg school, aged between 13 and 16 at the time.
They described how Rex, who was also a boarding master at the school, had choked them during 2016. Others testified he had touched their genitals during that year.
Johnson described Rex as a serial sex offender and a bully.
The National Prosecuting Authority especially thanked the matron at the school, Mariolette Bossert, for her bravery in reporting these allegations against Rex.
Bossert testified on Wednesday, during the sentencing proceedings, on how some of the boys were on suicide watch following the sexual assaults by Rex.
“We commend the bravery of … Mariolette Bossert, who despite being humiliated for standing for what is right for reporting these allegations against Rex, she stood her ground and literally fought hard for these boys to realise justice,” NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.