A physical education teacher admitted he repeatedly had sex with a 14-year-old schoolgirl more than a decade ago with the adult victim calling it a “sickening” breach of trust.
Ben Nathan Kelly was a physical education teacher in Victoria’s north during the 2000s when he first met the teenage girl on a school trip. He was 24 at the time.
The now 41-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child under 16.
“It is sickening … my trust was betrayed without me even realising it,” the now 31-year-old victim told the Victorian County Court on Friday.
In a powerful statement, the woman said admitting the damage done to her was painful and she felt “emotionally ripped apart”.
“I’m angry – I still have to fight every day to feel positive,” she said.
The first time he had sex with the girl was on his car while she was in her pyjamas, prosecutor Mark Gibson SC said.
They also had sex on a trip to a lake and the girl would go to Kelly’s house after school, before she started her job at KFC. She would also sneak out to his home, the court was told.
Kelly even tried to contact his victim on her wedding day many years later but she never responded, the court heard. Her relationship with her husband later broke down.
She decided to come forward in 2018 after confiding in a friend about what happened to her.
The court was told Kelly now understood what happened with the girl was “entirely inappropriate and wrong”.
He was genuinely remorseful, suffered from depression and pleaded guilty at an early stage in the proceedings.
“If I could take it back I would. It kills me every day inside,” Kelly told the victim’s brother in a message.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
Originally published as Teacher admits repeated sex with student