A Sunshine teacher has been sentenced to jail following the indecent assault of two female students in a school library.
Sunshine Secondary College maths teacher Richard Grabski, 34, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court last Tuesday after being found guilty of indecently assaulting children under his care following a three-day trial.
Magistrate Jon Klenstadt said Grabski’s actions were a gross breach of trust and the offending relied on the vulnerability of children.
“You’ve been found guilty of committing an indecent act with a child under your care. The breach of trust and breach of proper conduct by a person in your capacity is in my view gross,” Mr Klenstadt said.
The court had previously heard that the first complaint was made to police in mid-2017 after an incident at the school’s after-hours homework club in the library.
Police said the following day, Grabski sent the victim an email from his private account asking her to meet him after school in a science classroom.
On June 21, 2017, police executed a search warrant at Grabski’s home and seized hard drives, a computer and a handwritten account of the event.
The following day police were contacted about a second student who had been interfered with seven months prior.
Police said that during that incident the student was alone with Grabski in the library, again during homework club.
She was later contacted over the school’s email system asking, “But where were you today???”, after she failed to attend school during the days that followed.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, one of the victims said she’d been left feeling scared and violated after the assault and was absent from school for some time.
She said she’d since lost friendships and sometimes felt unsafe at school.
“In my life, everything has changed,” she said.
Lawyer Chris Terry said his client had no prior convictions and had previously been a respected member of the community.
Mr Klenstadt said the nature of the offending warranted jail time.
“Although the indecent acts themselves fall at the lower end of the scale, the matter has been aggravated first by your position as a teacher and the fact that you have shown no remorse for your behaviour,” he said.
“A term of imprisonment is appropriate.”
Grabski was sentenced to two terms of four months in jail to be served concurrently.
He will also serve an 18 months community corrections order upon his release and be placed on the sex offenders register for 15 years.
Grabski was later released on appeal bail after indicating he would appeal both the sentence and the conviction.
– The Age