A former Katoomba High student who was raped by a fellow pupil is considering suing the NSW Department of Education, saying the school failed to protect her after her family warned the boy had been making threats.
The Children’s Court on Thurday sentenced the boy, who was 16 at the time of the rape in late 2019, to seven months in jail, with a non-parole period of two months. He was found guilty in May of six counts of sexual intercourse without consent and one of intentionally choking without permission.
After the sentencing, the family’s lawyer, Michael Bradley, read a statement from the victim, saying the attack took her confidence, her mental health and “the happy life I led before the attack”.
But “what angers me is that this should not have happened. Before I was raped, my father wrote to the school, demanding that the police speak to and warn the boy. The school agreed to do that, but they failed to follow through.”
She is getting legal advice about taking legal action against the department and the school, she said. The girl also called on the department to release the findings of an internal investigation into the handling of the incident.
The girl accused the school of failing to protect her. “I can only assume that the department wants to cover up what happened at Katoomba High School. What happened to me is happening to far too many girls in Australia.
“The untold number of rapes and attacks on Australia’s schoolgirls needs to stop.”
At a sentencing hearing earlier this month, the court heard an initially consensual act between two Katoomba High students became non-consensual and involved multiple violations. The perpetrator failed to express remorse and has continued to stick by his not guilty plea.