Disturbing news has emerged today, as a former master at Sydney Grammar School has pleaded guilty to an indecent act and will serve an 18-month community corrections order, according to the Hepburn Advocate.
Adrian Cooper, 76, pleaded guilty to masturbating while watching young male students showering over the January break in Warrnambool, and has been charged with one act of indecent assault in the presence of a minor, and one act of indecent assault with a minor.
“A boy left the shower block shaken,” the Hepburn Advocate claims in a retelling of the disturbing incident. According to the paper, Cooper admitted his attraction to prepubescent boys to the police.
Cooper received a medal of the order of Australia in 1992 for his “services to youth”, and was responsible for introducing and running the Duke of Edinburgh program to the Darlinghurst school.
A former student of Cooper and of Sydney Grammar told Pedestrian this morning: “Most students felt uncomfortable around him and it always seemed strange that he was in charge of the camping program — with hindsight this now seems even more outrageous especially given prior court appearances for similar issues.”
Cooper had made court appearances in 1988 and 1982 for offences involving both a male minor and male adult.
The charge comes off the harrowing Royal Commission into sexual abuse at Knox Grammar School, also in Sydney, which has been closely following the alleged 30-year-long sexual misconduct against students at the school between 1970 and 2003.
Yesterday, former headmaster of Knox Ian Paterson admitted to the Royal Commission that he deliberately disrupted a police investigation at the school. Saving the legacy and reputation over the wellbeing and safety of students? Disgusting.
— Lisa Wilkinson (@Lisa_Wilkinson) March 4, 2015