Child molester Collan Rex is dating girlfriend he met three months ago
Convicted child molester Collan Rex on Tuesday arrived in court with a fresh hairstyle and a new girlfriend‚ who took the witness stand on his behalf.
During court proceedings‚ the former Parktown Boys' High waterpolo coach's lawyer questioned why the probation officer changed an initial recommendation that Rex undergo correctional supervision to the recommendation that he should serve a custodial sentence.
The social worker‚ Xoliswa Budaza‚ had testified before the South Gauteng High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court earlier on Tuesday morning that she had recommended that the appropriate sentence to be imposed by the court was direct imprisonment.
"It is the suitable sentence considering the seriousness of the offence and the number of counts the accused was facing‚" Budaza said.
Rex's lawyer‚ William Robertse‚ asked why Budaza changed her recommendation from correctional supervision in her initial report to direct imprisonment in her final report.
Budaza said her initial report did not contain inputs from her colleagues who were interviewing the victims.
Willemse put it to Budaza that in the presence of Rex's girlfriend‚ the probation officer informed Rex and his girlfriend that she was under pressure from her supervisor to change the recommendation on the sentence.
Budaza denied saying she was put under pressure.
Rex's girlfriend‚ Jolene Farina‚ testified that on October 23 this year‚ Budaza visited Rex and Farina at her home where Budaza said her career would be jeopardised if she did not recommend sentencing in her report.
Farina said she met Rex three months ago.
When asked by prosecutor Arveena Persad whether Rex had informed her about how many charges he faced in court‚ Farina said : "I did not ask him about the convictions as it had nothing to do with me."
Rex‚ who turned 23 in September‚ was found guilty of 144 counts of sexual assault and 12 counts of assault in September.
A number of boys from the prominent Johannesburg school testified how Rex had choked them during 2016. Others testified that he had touched their genitals during that year.
In his defence‚ Rex said he had meant no harm choking the boys and said "it was merely horseplay".
He is out on bail of R3‚000 pending finalisation of sentencing.
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