How Chris Dawson is accused of having sex with a teenage girl in his mom and dad’s house, school office and car – as the former teacher stands trial
- Chris Dawson fights sex charge in NSW court
- The court hears the accusation that he had sex with a grade 11 student in 1980
Chris Dawson was alleged to have first engaged in sexual activity with a teenage student at his parents’ home in Sydney’s eastern suburbs when she was 16 years old, a court has said.
Former teacher and rugby league player Dawson, 74, faces a judge-only trial in NSW District Court where he is fighting allegations that he engaged in sexual activity with one of his teenage students.
The 74-year-old has pleaded not guilty to one count of carnal knowledge, relating to alleged sexual activity with a teenage girl – who can only be known as AB – between July 1980 and December 12, 1980.
“Not guilty,” Dawson said when he was arraigned Tuesday morning.
Dawson appeared thin when he appeared in NSW District Court on Monday. Court sketch above
Crown prosecutor Emma Blizard told the court in her opening statement Tuesday morning that the sexual activity first occurred when AB was a student in Dawson’s 11th grade class in 1980.
The court was told that A.B. was going through a tumultuous family life at the hands of an alcoholic mother and stepfather and confided in Dawson, who had taken an interest in her.
It is alleged that she would also sometimes see him in a pub frequented by teachers and students on Friday evenings.
Ms. Blizard alleged that Dawson kissed AB while in his car in the second half of 1980.
The prosecution has alleged that they first engaged in sexual activity at his parents’ home in Maroubra sometime in 1980.
“No one was home, the suspect had a key to the house and in his parent’s house he had[engaged in sexual activity]which amounted to carnal knowledge for the first time,” Ms Blizard said.
Chris Dawson has pleaded not guilty to the carnal knowledge charge
It is alleged that the sexual activities in 1981 frequently took place in various locations, including his office at school, in his car and later at his home, the court was told.
The Crown will also rely on cards Dawson sent to AB, including one at Christmas in 1980 that read ‘Happy Christmas. Once or twice a minute. Always love. God.’
De Kroon will also call former AB classmates as witnesses.
Dawson, a former Newtown Jets player, was sentenced to 24 years in prison last year for the murder of his wife Lynette Simms.
He maintains his innocence and has filed an appeal.
Chris Dawson at his wedding to his wife Lynette Simms. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison for her murder last year
AB issued a statement to the Ministry of Education in June 1998 regarding the allegations of carnal knowledge.
Defense attorney Claire Wasley told the court that the trial had to be determined by the evidence and that Judge Sarah Huggett could not consider Dawson’s murder conviction.
Ms Wasley also said the issue at trial was the timing of the first sexual activity, which they say took place after AB’s 17th birthday in early 1981.
“It is not in dispute that (Dawson engaged in sexual activity) while she was a teacher and while (AB) was a student… What is disputed is that the first instance of sexual activity occurred when she was in Year 11 was,’ Mrs Wasley said.
Judge Huggett’s trial is expected to last two weeks.