The director of a school for children with special needs has been given a one-year jail term, six months suspended, and 120 hours of community service for sexually abusing a pupil.
The public prosecution department said Ryan van de V should be jailed for three years for abusing the boy at the private Agnus Dei school. The school catered to children with special learning issues, either because they were highly gifted or had autism.
Van de V was also placed on probation for five years and banned from teaching during that period. He was found not guilty of possessing 600 photographs and 23 hours of video featuring child pornography because of problems with the prosecution documents.
Van de V was banned from teaching for five years because the court said there was a risk of reoffending. He was also ordered to undergo treatment.
He was arrested in October last year after being caught abusing a 16-year-old boy on police surveillance cameras. The cameras were placed in the school after a worried teacher raised the alarm.
During the trial, Van der V told the court he did not realise what he was doing was wrong. ‘To me it felt as if we were equals,’ he was reported as saying. ‘I now realise this was not okay.’
The school was closed down shortly afterwards.
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