Former high school coach admits to 144 counts of sexual assault in Joburg

Collan Rex, who was a water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High School, pleaded guilty to 144 sexual assault charges at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.
Collan Rex, who was a water polo coach at Parktown Boys' High School, pleaded guilty to 144 sexual assault charges at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court.
Image: Masi Losi

The former assistant water polo coach of Parktown Boys' High School in Johannesburg has admitted guilt to 144 counts of sexual assault involving 12 schoolboys.

Collan Rex‚ 22‚ calmly told acting judge Peet Johnson that he understood that he was not obliged to make any admissions.

"Are you aware it boils down to a plea of guilty?" Johnson asked him‚ to which he replied "yes".

A group of parents sitting in criminal court 6 at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court on Tuesday cried softly as state prosecutor Advocate Arveena Persad read out the 144 counts of sexual assault admitted to by Rex.

The victims were aged between 13 and 16 at the time of the sexual assaults in 2015 and 2016. The counts he pleaded guilty to included grabbing the boys' genitals‚ rubbing his genitals against the boys' genitals while both were fully clothed (known as dry humping)‚ and touching their genital organs and pubic hair.

Among others‚ Rex is facing one count of rape‚ 94 counts of attempted murder‚ exposure of children to porn‚ assault and sexual grooming. A total of 23 pupils are complainants in the case.

The parents declined to comment on Rex's guilty plea to 144 counts of sexual assault. The case has been postponed to Monday.

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