A maths teacher who sexually assaulted his 15-year-old student has refused to apologise for his crimes and maintains he’s the real victim, despite being convicted.
Recently, Nicolaas Bester, from Tasmania, was confronted by 60 Minutes journalist Allison Langdon over the 2010 assault of a schoolgirl at Hobart’s prestigious St Michael’s Collegiate, which saw him sentenced to more than two years behind bars.
Bester served an additional four months in 2016 after he bragged about the relationship with the teenager as ‘awesome’ and ‘enviable’ on Facebook.
The hostile confrontation, which aired on Sunday night, comes after the young victim spoke out against being silenced by outdated laws criminalising victims who share their story.
The convicted sex offender, Nicolaas Bester (left), is allowed to speak freely and has previously made statements claiming the relationship was consensual and that he was the real victim
Outside an Officeworks, Bester, now 65, refused to admit any wrongdoing, saying he did ‘nothing of the kind’ when approached by Ms Langdon.
After the journalist asked if he was ready to apologise to the victim, Bester halted.
‘There’s that word again, victim. We’ll see who the victim is,’ implying that he is the victim.
He also made no apologies for his behaviour.
The then-teenager was preyed on by Bester, a highly regarded teacher, who assaulted her at school, in his office, a hotel room and at church.
She said she saw him as a father figure while she struggled to cope with a broken family life and an eating disorder.
A woman who was sexually assaulted by her maths teacher at 15-years-old has been silenced by a barbaric and outdated law that criminalises victims who share their story
After six months of abuse, she found the courage to report the assaults to police who jailed the 58-year-old for two years.
His sentence was increased for making child exploitation material and referring to the ‘sexual relationship’ with the student as enviable and awesome.
During her interview with 60 Minutes , the victim – who is forced to keep her identity a secret – shared her story and the law that continues to obstruct her truth.
The young woman – who is forced to keep her identity a secret – shares her story and the law that continues to obstruct her truth
Section 194K of the Evidence Act in Tasmania prohibits revealing the identity of a sexual assault survivor – even if they are willing to share their story.
Section 194K of the Evidence Act 2001
Anonymity of sexual assault complainants in Tasmania is protected by s 194K of the Evidence Act 2001 (Tas).
In summary, a person cannot publish anything to identify a victim of a sexual crime.
They are only able to if they have a court order.
A court will only authorise publication if information is considered public interest. They are likely to impose conditions to the publication.
It is punishable as a contempt of court, without authorisation.
SOURCE: Tasmania Law Reform Institute
Publishing information without court authorisation is punishable as contempt of court.
In the 60 Minutes segment, ‘Jane Doe’ is forced to speak behind an alias where her face is blurred and voice is altered.
But her attacker, Bester, is allowed to speak freely and has previously made statements claiming the relationship was consensual and that he was the real victim.
‘The fact that I can’t take control of my own story, that’s frustrating, and it adds to that feeling of I have to be ashamed of my story, of my past, which shouldn’t be the case,’ Jane Doe said.
In a particularly horrifying instance, Bester manipulated a memory the young woman shared with him of prior abuse as a child, where she was locked in a closet.
He forced her to recreate the moment and told her to take off her clothes. She described the incident as cruel, haunting and evil.
Under Tasmanian law, the conviction against Bester had no mention of rape, sexual abuse or grooming.
He was charged with maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person, despite months of grooming Jane Doe endured and her youth.
When he was released from prison, Bester released an interview branding himself as a victim who lost his wife, status in the community and job as a result of the conviction.
American actor and activist Alyssa Milano, who has been an advocate of the #MeToo movement, also spoke with 60 Minutes.
The Charmed star is launching the #LetHerSpeak social media campaign in the hope of starting further conversation.
She also thanked Jane Doe for being brave and for taking up her fight.