Aussie teacher faces child abuse prosecution

New Zealand Herald

John Weekes

Police investigating sex crime allegations against a teacher long presumed dead before being found in rural New Zealand have returned to Australia to prepare a report for a prosecutor.

The allegations relate to Ronald Thomas, formerly a teacher at Tasmania’s elite Hutchins School, who now lives in Tangimoana, near Bulls.

Mr Thomas, aged in his late 70s, has denied allegations of historical sex offences.

Two of his former students made claims to Tasmania’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission, investigating allegations of abuse at Hutchins in the late 1960s, named Mr Thomas in November.

The commission and Mr Thomas’ alleged victims believed the teacher was dead. But last month The Australian newspaper revealed Mr Thomas was living in a rural Manawatu dairy-farming community.

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