Collan Rex’s victims suffered emotional trauma, court told

The 23-year-old former assistant water polo coach has been found guilty on 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 of common assault.

Collan Rex leaves the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court on 20 September 2018. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Palm Ridge Magistrates Court has heard about the devastating effects suffered by the boys who were abused by convicted sexual predator Collan Rex at Parktown Boys' High.

The 23-year-old former assistant water polo coach has been found guilty on 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 of common assault.

The State has been going through statements from the families of boys who were sexually abused by Rex.

The court has heard details of the emotional trauma suffered by those Rex preyed on during his time as an assistant water polo coach.

State prosecutor Arveena Persad says the abuse left many of the victims with a deep sense of shame and impacted negatively on their behaviour.

One of the families said Rex’s actions were a major contributor to their son’s poor performance at school which led to him losing his rugby scholarship.

During his testimony, child protection and development expert Luke Lamprecht told the court that the adults who taught a young Rex that it was acceptable to touch someone’s genitals should be held accountable.

SUICIDE WATCH

The court has also heard how some of the boys who were abused by Rex are now on suicide watch.

Persad read out testimonies from families who have been affected by the abuse.

The court heard how some of the boys didn’t want to live anymore and attempted suicide.

Persad said the boys were often scared of speaking out about their encounters with Rex for fear of victimisation and that they would be labelled as traitors or snitches.

In a pre-sentencing report, Rex claimed he was exposed to bullying, wrestling and games which involved the touching of genitals when he was a pupil at Parktown Boys and didn’t view his actions as wrong.

However, a child abuse expert told the court earlier that if Rex viewed his actions as normal he would have not have kept the abuse secret.

Sentencing proceedings have been postponed until Thursday.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)