The touching of a minor’s groin area was an “accident” a lessons teacher has told the High Court.
The 24-year-old man made the statement in a sworn statement before the No. 5 Supreme Court as an indecent assault case against him continued yesterday.
The music tutor is charged with committing the act on an 11-year-old first form student at one of the secondary schools located in St Michael on January 7, 2016.
The tutor told the eight-member jury presided over by Madam Justice Pamela Beckles that he had first slapped the child when he had “second thoughts” on answers to questions asked.
“Gave him a slap . . . . It is not that I like violently hit him to like cause pain. I just gave him a slap to like . . . come on you know the answer . . . stop trying to guess the answer,” the music tutor said.
He further explained that he asked the child another question and he was guessing again.
“Then I told him stop guessing the answer and think about the answer before he answers. He still was guessing so I told him to take off his belt and put it on the table and he stepped back.
“I would have been sitting down on the piano stool with my hands in my lap. So while he was stepping back, I raise my hand to grab him to pull him forward. In the action of raising my hand [it] accidentally struck his groin area,” the accused said adding that he grabbed the belt and pulled the child forward and questioned him again and he again got the answer wrong.
“I then proceeded to unbuckle the belt then after I placed my hands back on my lap,” said the tutor who explained that he was sitting while the child was standing.
“He then answered the question correct and I told him ‘well done’. After this he buckled his belt,” the accused added.
The music tutor said he was subsequently informed by the principal of the school that a report had been made by the child’s parents claiming indecent assault by him while giving the child piano lessons.
Under cross examination by Senior Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney the accused disclosed that he was 21 years old at the time of the alleged incident and was also a past student of the school but was not a teacher there.
The prosecutor then asked the accused why he had asked an 11-year-old boy to remove his belt.
“I told him to take off his belt . . . . I said I would tap him on his shoulder, not to like bring torture but to like tell him . . . come on you know the answer. It was not the intention of hitting him with the belt but . . . that he would come out of his shell . . . instead of trying to be lazy because he knows the work,” he said adding that was a new form of punishment.
The accused tutor however disagreed with the prosecutor that he went further by putting his hands in the child’s pants and squeezing his testicles.
The tutor returns to court on Monday, July 8 when he will give his closing arguments before the jury.
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