CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses sexual and physical assault.
A jury at the Parramatta District Court has heard new details pertaining to the 17 charges of grooming and sexual intercourse without consent against Sydney English teacher Vasilious “Bill” Kafataris.
As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, the 55-year-old is on trial and pleaded not guilty to the charges which have been brought forward by four of his former students who he taught between 2000 and 2021 across three different schools located in Sydney’s west and south-west regions.
One of the four female students took the stand today (August 16) to give evidence in front of the jury where she outlined her experiences which led to filing for a charge of common assault against her former teacher. Of the details, she alleges that Kafataris made comments about her body, pushed her against a wall and even joked about putting her in the boot of his car.
The student, who is now 20-years-old, said Kafataris would make the recurring joke everyday when he parked his car. She said he “would joke around about how he could put me in the boot of the car and just take me back to Bankstown”.
The complainant then went on to allege that her teacher would often make inappropriate comments about her body and enquire as to her relationship status.
Kafataris would allegedly ask “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” and make comments on her chest, thighs and ankles.
She then told the court Kafataris became physical with her during one incident where he forcefully pushed her against a wall and commented: “Would you be strong enough to defend yourself?”
During the cross-examination defence barrister Rory McCrudden set about to poke holes in the complainant’s evidence.
At one point he asked: “Why did you speak in such terms to a man you feared?” when it was discovered Kafataris and the woman would often text each other in a joking manner.
“Because we were almost on a friendship level, you can still fear someone that you’re friends with,” she responded.
The trial is set to continue before Judge Craig Everson.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing sexual or physical assault there is help available by calling 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.