London

Teacher 'raped girl during lunch break' at London private girls' school

A teacher repeatedly raped a teenage schoolgirl in a classroom during lunch breaks, a court has heard.

Geography teacher Kato Harris is accused of attacking the 14-year-old pupil three times over a two-month-period during the autumn of 2013.

Isleworth Crown Court heard the teenager could only speak the name of her alleged attacker after she started therapy.

Mr Harris, 37, of Montague Road, Richmond, denies three charges of rape.

Giving evidence via videolink from behind a screen, the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said she had panic attacks "multiple times every day".

"I didn't feel safe because I felt like I could be attacked again at any time," she said.

"I just couldn't trust anyone - no other teachers."

'Moron and lazy'

The court heard it took a year of weekly psychiatric treatment to help the teenager recover from the attacks.

The alleged attacks left her a changed person, scared of being touched by a close family friend and compelled to put pillows between her and her sister as they shared a bed during a family holiday, jurors were told.

It was said the girl had been severely bullied by girls at the school, was called a "moron" and "lazy" by teachers and moved boarding schools following the alleged attacks.

Staff at the new school grew concerned about her soon after she arrived in February 2014.

Medical staff suggested her behaviour was attention-seeking but the housemistress said it was clear "something was really troubling her".

On 15 October, the girl told the teacher that it was a "bad anniversary" and a month later, the housemistress suggested to her that she had been abused, to which she replied "maybe", the court heard.

The housemistress said when asked if a family member was involved, she said again "maybe".

But she denied telling the teacher that it had been a family member who had abused her.

In December that year, the girl wrote on a piece of paper, "I was raped", and broke down in tears in her teacher's office, the court heard.

Later, she told the housemistress she was raped three times at her old school by a teacher

The trial continues.

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