Drama teacher cleared of seducing teenage pupil

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The Independent Online
A DRAMA TEACHER was cleared yesterday of indecently assaulting a 15-year-old pupil who claimed she seduced him on a school field trip.

Renate Williams, 32, a newly qualified teacher, was alleged to have given the schoolboy lessons in love after swimming naked during a midnight walk along a beach in Wales in November last year. The jury of seven men and five women at Worcester Crown Court acquitted her after deliberating for just over an hour.

She was also acquitted - on the instruction of Judge Ian Morris - of a second charge of indecently assaulting the boy.

The court was told that Ms Williams, of Poole, Dorset, became the victim of a "schoolboy conspiracy" when she refused pupils' requests for sex and drugs. She was allegedly propositioned and sexually harassed by pupils at the Worcestershire boarding school. The court was told that boys at the school fantasised about teachers and even placed bets on who would be the first to get them into bed.

Ms Williams told police she believed the boy who made the false accusations had been "put up" to it by another pupil, whom she described as the ringleader. "He had power and influence over the others in that year group and that scared me," Ms Williams told police. "He was very manipulative."

Ms Williams was suspended from her job after the allegations were made. The school governors yesterday "noted" that she had been cleared.