School principal speaks out about teacher's rape charges being dropped

Last week it was reported that the Control Prosecutor had dropped sexual assault charges against a teacher accused of raping a 17 year old girl from Herschel Girls School.

Herschel school principal Stuart West joins John Maytham on the line, to give the latest update on the matter.

The teacher, now named with his permission, is Michael Brasler.

West says they worked closely with police on the investigation helping to gather evidence.

The school said it had a duty to independently investigate the allegations, even after the Control Prosecutor's decision. he says sexual assault is one of the most under-reported crimes in our country and they took the matter extremely seriously.

Obviously Mr Brasler is very keen to clear his own name at the moment,

Stuart West, Principal Herschel Girls School

West says they worked closely with the affidavit the student had made with regard to the timings and details of the allegations made. They looked at the teacher allocations, timetables, CCTV footage, statements from both staff and students.

The student's lawyers declined to allow her to talk to the school as part of their investigation.

The conclusion by the school was that the teacher could not have been physically present to carry out the alleged assaults and their findings fundamentally contradicted key elements in the student's original affidavit.

We are absolutely convinced. The allegations as contained in the police affidavit are fundamentally false.

Stuart West, Principal Herschel Girls School

Brasler visited the school today, and will attend the end of term ceremony tomorrow.

West says these past four weeks has been a very difficult time for all.

We have reached out to Mr Brasler, and have welcomed him back to the staff meeting this afternoon. And there is a great deal of uncertainty among our girls and our parents, but I have received vast numbers of support from parents, old girls and the school council.

Stuart West, Principal Herschel Girls School

West says they need to embrace themselves as a healing community going forward.

The student has allegedly cut off all ties with the school.

Michael Brasler has made three demands. He wants an apology from his accuser and her family, his legal costs reimbursed and he wants the family to make a contribution to rape crisis.

Listen to the entire interview below:


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