Police allegedly found social media chats "encouraging the complainant to send an explicit image". Image by AP PHOTO

crime, law and justice

Snapchat texts in Sydney teacher case

2020-07-13 18:34:30

A Sydney teacher accused of sex with a student during school hours was allegedly tipped off about the police investigation and took steps to avoid detection.

Monica Elizabeth Young, 23, showed no emotion when she was denied bail on Monday by a Bankstown Local Court magistrate, who raised concerns she could interfere with witnesses if released.

The high school teacher faces 10 charges including five counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a child aged 14 to 16.

Each of those five offences carries a maximum penalty of 12 years jail.

“Any sexual impropriety is denied,” her barrister Geoff Harrison told the court.

Magistrate Glenn Walsh acknowledged the young teacher had strong family support and no criminal history.

But he was swayed by police accusations of partial admissions and witness interference.

“When tipped off of the police investigation, she took steps – on the material before me – to try and get around that investigation,” he said.

“Firstly, by representing herself as a different Snapchat user and (secondly) contacting the complainant’s mother to try to explain away the circumstances of conduct.”

Snapchat conversations and CCTV from the school showing the pair in contact formed part of the prosecution case, the court was told.

The boy also gave a recorded interview on July 3, leading Mr Walsh to suggest the teen’s “memory would not be a significant matter at trial”.

Young is accused of twice having sexual intercourse with the boy under her authority between 9am and 4pm on Tuesday, June 24.

Court documents show she’s accused of also intentionally sexually touching the child over the same time period.

Then, on Friday, July 3, Young allegedly had sexual intercourse with the boy three times between 2pm and 3.30pm.

Between July 4 and the morning of July 6, she’s accused of intentionally doing a sexual act towards a child and inciting that child to do a sex act towards her.

Police arrested her at her home on July 10 and seized devices.

Detectives had only briefly reviewed the recorded evidence but had already allegedly uncovered Snapchat conversations of the teacher “encouraging the complainant to send an explicit image”, the police prosecutor said.

“As a result, this is an overwhelming prosecution case,” she said.

Young, who appeared via AVL from a remand centre, was supported in court by her mother, father and grandmother.

Proposed bail conditions included a $50,000 surety and effective house arrest at her grandmother’s home.

The home had no internet access, the court was told.

Young was remanded in custody before her next court appearance at Burwood on September 2.

For the second time in three days, Young’s legal team sought a court order to prevent the publication of her name.

Mr Harrison said such order was necessary to protect future jurors and to prevent any identification of the child complainant.

Mr Walsh denied the application after opposition from journalists from News Corp and AAP.