Probe finds teacher 'engaged in sexual misconduct' with five pupils at Bishops

Former Bishops teacher Fiona Viotti.
Former Bishops teacher Fiona Viotti.
Image: Facebook/Fiona Viotti

An investigation has determined that a former female teacher “engaged in sexual misconduct” with at least five pupils at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town.

“The investigators were not able to ascertain with certainty to whom she had sent video or photographic images, as circulating on social media,” Bishops principal Guy Pearson said in a statement on Monday.

The Sunday Times revealed in October that former Springbok rugby coach Nick Mallett's niece had resigned as a teacher at the leading boys' school amid allegations of a sexual relationship with a pupil.

Teacher Fiona Viotti, 30, left the school as an investigation got under way into what the principal described at the time as “serious misconduct”.

Advocate Francois van Zyl SC and Graeme Dorrington of Dorrington Jessop Attorneys were appointed to conduct the investigation.

“The attorney representing the female teacher, in a letter, initially offered the female teacher’s full co-operation with the investigation. However, a request by the investigators for her to attend an interview with them was later refused. Furthermore, the investigators were informed that she was not prepared to make any written comments regarding the merits of the matter,” said Pearson.

The key findings after the probe were that a teacher had engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils between 2013 and 2019. 

“No information was received by the investigators that indicated that the school knew anything about the sexual misconduct with pupils. The principal was first notified on the 10th October 2019,” read the statement.

Pearson said as the teacher had resigned on October 11, no disciplinary action could be taken against her by the school.

While the investigation had been completed, the school said further information “may come to light in the future” and encouraged those wishing to engage on the matter to contact the Pearson or Dorrington.

“As a school we are deeply saddened by these events and remain committed to ensuring the mental health and wellbeing of those affected,” said Pearson.


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