A Moree Court has been told that one of the nation’s highest paid principals hugged a 10-year-old girl with his penis exposed, and rubbed his hand down her back from her head to her bottom.
The alleged assault occurred in the prinicpal’s office at Moree Secondary College.
The evidence is being delivered at a hearing in Moree which began this morning. Charged is Hilton Humphries, a ‘Super Principal’ under the NSW Government’s radical Connected Communities Aboriginal education policy.
Mr Humphries – the cousin of NSW Minister for Western NSW, Kevin Humphries and once lauded by the NSW Minister for Education as one of the ‘best [principals]that money could buy’- is facing four charges of sexual assault against the young girl in early 2013.
Mr Humphries has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his lawyer this morning said he disputes the evidence outlined in the opening brief presented to the court.
Prosecutors gave an opening address which set out the evidence expected to be heard over the next two days.
The young girl concerned – who cannot be named for legal reasons – moved to Moree in early 2013 with her family. She was already well known to Mr Humphries, who was a friend of the family and had moved to Moree a few months earlier.
While not a student at the Moree High School, the young girl would regularly wait in Mr Humphries office for her parents to finish work.
The court was told the young girl would “draw pictures for [Mr Humphries, and] play on his computer”.
It’s alleged that sometime towards the end of Term one 2013, or the start of Term Two, the young girl was walking from her primary school to the high school with a young male friend, who picked her a flower.
When she arrived at the school, the court heard she was questioned by Mr Humphries about who gave her the flower.
“He said words to the affect of ‘I’m the only one allowed to give you flowers,’” the court was told.
Police say the young girl became upset. Mr Humphries offered her tissues and invited her around his side of the desk “for a hug”.
“It’s then that she saw, in her words, his private parts….” the police prosecutor said.
The court was told Mr Humphries penis was exposed, and that he hugged the young girl, who “felt something hard” against her.
The court was also told that Mr Humphries ran his hand down the young girl’s back, from her head to her bottom.
Lawyers for Mr Humphries said they would dispute the facts as claimed in court, and pointed to a Department of Education investigation in September 2013, in which the young girl was specifically interviewed about events surrounding the day she was given a flower by her friend.
The court heard that the young girl made no disclosures to Department investigators, and only made allegations about Mr Humphries months later, on Christmas Eve 2013.
The court closed a short time ago to receive the evidence of the young girl. Around a half dozen other witnesses are expected to give evidence, including Kerry Duffell, the former administrative manager at the high school.
The hearing has been set down for two days. New Matilda will continue to report form the court proceedings as the case progresses.
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