A former primary school teacher has been found guilty by a Darwin Supreme Court jury of indecently dealing with two of his female students.
The 50-year-old man had pleaded not guilty to eight counts of indecent dealings with four children and one count of aggravated assault.
The students were all aged between 10 and 12 years old at the time of the offences, which occurred between 2013 and 2016.
After a four-week trial, the jury delivered its majority verdict on Monday afternoon, finding the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, guilty of five counts of indecent dealing, and one charge of aggravated assault.
The man was found not guilty of one count of indecent dealing, and the jury could not reach a verdict on two other counts.
Over the course of the trial the court heard the man thought he was “untouchable” and used his popularity to gain his students’ trust.
The prosecution argued he then betrayed that trust through his inappropriate behaviour, thinking the girls would not come forward and report his actions.
The man continuously denied all the allegations put to him, but he did admit he initially lied to police about contact he had with one of his 11-year-old students in 2016.
He said he texted and called the girl over a period of some weeks, but said that it was in order to check on her welfare.
The prosecution argued that it was because he was “infatuated” with the girl and wanted to know what she was doing.
The verdict rejected the defence case that “unfortunately children lie” and the girls could not be trusted because of inconsistencies in their evidence.