Teacher to fight sex assault allegations

AMY MAAS
Last updated 10:24 10/11/2012

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An Auckland teacher who "strongly denies" accusations of sex crimes against teenage girls has lost a bid to keep his name secret. 

Damien Christopher Gillard, 43, lost name suppression when he appeared at the Auckland High Court on Friday. 

Gillard was a teacher at Papatoetoe High School before being suspended earlier this year. 

He faces charges of sexual grooming, unlawful sexual connection with a 14-year-old and offering to supply methamphetamine, all of which are alleged to have taken place in May. 

It is understood more complainants have come forward and Gillard faces additional charges relating to those complaints. 

His lawyer, Paul Wicks, said Gillard would plead not guilty to the charges. 

"Damian's now moving on to focus on defending the allegations against him which he denies," he said. 

Wicks would not comment on whether Gillard was working at the moment, but "he's certainly not working as a teacher".

When Gillard appeared at the Pukekohe District Court in August, he was given interim name suppression. 

At the time, police prosecutor Geoffrey Bardsley opposed the continued name suppression saying it was contrary to the principle of open justice and it would hamper further complainants coming forward. 

When he was arrested in July, Papatoetoe High School principal Peter Gall wrote to parents whose children had potentially been affected to tell them Gillard had been suspended from his duties.

Gall wanted Gillard's identity to be published to remove suspicion from other men working with children. 

Gillard has been bailed and will reappear in court in December.

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- Auckland Now

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