A Western Victorian student will look into suing a professional regulatory body over a teacher who abused him but remains registered to teach.
Despite having admitted to indecently assaulting the former student in the 1980s, the man remains registered as a teacher by the Victorian Institute of Teaching.
The institute’s chief executive, Melanie Saba, said the regulator investigated the teacher in 2011 and a hearing panel decided the teacher's assault was a ‘one-off’ as there had not been a similar incident in the 20 years since.
"The institute considers the teacher's fitness to teach based on the indictable offence,” Ms Saba said.
In a 2011, the teacher pleaded guilty to one charge of indecent assault. He did not have a conviction recorded and was given a good behaviour bond.
The Victorian education department referred the matter to the VIT, due to its concerns about the teacher, and paid the victim a $320,000 settlement over the negligence claim. The victim now has the option of pursuing the case in court as part of the settlement agreement against the VIT
The victim told Fairfax Media the abuse was traumatic and he had lost faith in the teaching regulator.
"That the Victorian Institute of Teaching let him keep working is really disappointing,” he said. “I've been feeling crap for a long time, having low self-esteem, there is so much guilt and shame."
It is alleged the teacher groomed the former student during lunch and recess at the school’s library.
The teacher allegedly exposed the former student to gay pornography and alcohol at his house in western Victoria, where he also allegedly performed oral sex, masturbated and had sexual intercourse with the victim.
The victim alleges the abuse left him with post traumatic stress disorder, major depression with psychosis and chronic anxiety. The victim claims he suffered a loss of income and a diminished earning capacity as a result.
He claims the injury, loss and damage was caused by the negligence of the education department.
The victim’s lawyers, Waller Legal, claim the victim was a minor at the time of all offences.
The institute claims the victim was not a child and was no longer a student at the time of the offence, having dropped out.
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