AN Illawarra school teacher accused of filming up the skirts of some of his young students will learn early next month whether the case against him will proceed.
The unnamed man faces 18 charges of filming a person’s private parts without consent and in aggravated circumstances.
All but one charge relate to allegations he used a mobile phone to take still images and video of primary school age children while a substitute teacher in two schools south of Wollongong.
The remaining charge stems from allegations he inappropriately filmed the eight-year-old daughter of a close family friend while she and her brother were staying with his family.
The dates of the alleged offending range from May 2011 to December 2012, Wollongong Local Court was told on Monday at the man’s hearing.
However, the man’s lawyer, Nicholas Moir, said his client had no case to answer, claiming the prosecution had failed to mount a prima facie case, meaning they had not established all the essential elements of the charges in order for the matter to proceed.
Mr Moir said in each charge relating to the schoolchildren, the prosecution had provided no evidence to support its case that the man was in possession of the phone when the images and video were taken; the students were from the class he was teaching at the time; and the intention behind the filming was to obtain sexual gratification.
He also submitted while the pictures and video may have been taken from under a desk, they were ‘‘global’’ in what they had captured, saying they were not images of genital areas specifically.
‘‘[The perpetrator] could have been looking at knees for all we know,’’ Mr Moir said.
‘‘If Your Honour does see underpants [in the pictures] that doesn’t inherently meet the ingredients of the charge.’’
However, prosecutor Anali Cabrera argued the case against the man was strong enough to proceed, saying in some of the videos students could be heard identifying the teacher by name.
She also rejected defence suggestions that the images were ‘‘global’’.
She said in the case of the eight-year-old girl, the nine pictures taken that night clearly showed a progression so that the focus was eventually on the girl’s buttock area.
Presiding magistrate Michael Stoddart reserved his decision until June 3.