Former music teacher Benjamin John Heels and his partner pled guilty to 60 sexual offenses against minors, including having sex with a child under 16 and distributing child pornography.
An Australian couple, compromised of a music teacher and his gay partner, are living proof that vulgar sex crimes involving those in the education sector aren’t just a problem in the states, but all across the globe. In fact, this type of illegal activity is quite common in the land down under. Last year, a Sydney teacher was found guilty of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student, and now joining that long list of criminals is Benjamin John Heels, a former music teacher.
33-year-old Heels and his boyfriend, Tristan Dayle Cullinan-Smayle pled guilty to a slew of charges involving sex crimes with minors. Altogether, the music teacher and his lover have admitted to at least 60 child sex offenses, according to a report from The New York Post. The charges include both producing and obtaining child pornography, sexual assault, and performing sex acts in front of minor children.
Heels is an ex-music teacher from Fountain Gate Secondary College, located near Melbourne. The school enrolls students typically between the ages of 16-18, serving as a junior college preparatory type of school. It is unknown for now whether or not any of his know victims ever were present or former students.
What is known is that the former music teacher pleaded guilty to having sex with a child under the age of 16. This explicit act allegedly occurred between January and May of 2021. When appearing in court alongside his partner, Heels confirmed that he was willing to plead guilty to a plethora of other charges as well.
In corroborating, the music teacher admitted to using a carriage service, such as social media or emails, for transmitting child sexual abuse material. He also confessed to storing child porn on personal devices. For now, it is unknown just how long this illegal activity went on for.
There seems to be a disturbing trend of finding music teachers as the culprits of sex crimes against minors. Last May, a Wilmington High school teacher was arrested for forming a sexual relationship with one of her students. The 26-year-old choir director, Olivia Ortz, was reported to authorities after her husband’s revelation.
The music teacher’s husband found inappropriate messages between Ortz and one of her students, which led to the finding that they were sexually involved. The student was only 17 years old. At the time, the educator tried to hide her wrongdoings by only messaging the young girl through the Spotify app.
Last April, a Syracuse, NY music teacher was arrested for prior rape charges against a minor. According to reports from Local Syr, 33-year-old William Harrison raped a girl at his music studio in 2017. She was only 16 years old at the time.
Bad teachers are found in all walks of the sector, and unfortunately in America, the issue is only growing more severe. In just the first six months of this year, at least 181 educators were charged with sex crimes in the US. Across the pacific ocean, it is unknown where the music teacher ranks in sex crime reports for Australia, but was is known is that Heels and his boyfriend now await their sentencing and verdict, as the court assesses the couple’s risk to society.