Teacher charged with rape accused of coercing alleged victim to change statement | #teacher | #children | #kids | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

Mr Mellody was the sports co-ordinator at an exclusive Christian college in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs until he was arrested on October 20 last year.

Within two weeks of his arrest, another student from the same school came forward and told police he had raped and sexually assaulted her.

According to court records, Mr Mellody has been charged with 70 offences involving two former students including rape, sexual penetration with a child under 16, sexual assault against a child, sexual penetration of a child under his care and grooming.

Police have alleged he persuaded the first complainant to sneak out of her home at night and would regularly take her to the college, where she studied.

Mr Mellody is accused of gaining access to the school on the evening of October 16, when he allegedly had sex with the girl in the library. He then allegedly had sex with her in his car, before taking her home, according to a statement by Detective Senior Constable Jessica Notman from the Knox sexual offences and child abuse investigation team.

On at least one occasion, the alleged victim was instructed by Mr Mellody to wear her school uniform, according to court documents obtained by The Age.

A former youth pastor with the Salvation Army, Mr Mellody is also accused of taking the girl to his family home and a holiday house on the Mornington Peninsula owned by a relative.

“The grooming and control the accused exhibits over the victim is apparent … the complainant describes a large number of serious indictable offences, including sexual penetration of a child under 16,” Senior Detective Notman said in her statement.

“Police will allege that from 2017 to August 2019, the accused sexually assaulted the [second girl] on a number of occasions whilst under the age of 16, and sexually penetrated her when she was under 16 and under the accused’s care and authority. Police will also allege that the accused raped [her] on two occasions.”

In a November 6 letter sent out by the school to parents and obtained by The Age, the school said it was “deeply shocked and appalled” by the allegations and that it had sacked Mr Mellody and intended to conduct their own internal investigation.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).

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