A teenage girl broke down in tears on Monday when she told a hearing how her teacher had sexually assaulted her when she was 10 years old.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was a witness at the professional conduct panel which is hearing a series of allegations against Denis McCarthy.
Mr McCarthy was a teacher at Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley (RSSKL) at the time of the incident. He denies the allegation as well as the other claims which have been made against him by other students, staff and parents.
The girl told how the incident occurred at break time after a lesson.
She said that Mr McCarthy had called her back into the classroom and the two of them were alone.
He took her to the back of the classroom, where they were out of view from the windows which overlooked grounds that were usually out of bounds to students.
The girl then described how Mr McCarthy had his hands on her shoulders before taking her up against a wall where he pulled her underwear and leggings down to her knees.
She said she struggled to remember precisely what happened then, but she pulled her leggings up and fled from the classroom into an empty corridor in a “stumble-run” before going to the toilet.
She said Mr McCarthy had called to her not to tell anyone what had happened.
When she went back to class she said that neither she nor Mr McCarthy acknowledged that anything had happened.
The girl explained why she did not tell anybody what had happened – including her family and friends – for a period of several years.
Breaking down in tears several times, she said: “Mr McCarthy gave the image that he was the only person that you could trust.” He would also regularly pick her up in the playground from a young age.
The girl told how several years later she was “self-harming regularly” and began to regain her memories of what happened.
She added: “I feel that he abused his role and took it further than he should have with the cuddles and making you feel like you could only trust him.”
The hearing continues.