Queensland principal suspended for ‘grabbing breast’

THE PRINCIPAL of a regional Queensland school is facing a sexual assault charge for allegedly grabbing a woman's right breast and shaking it.

The principal, who allegedly committed the sexual offence in front of the woman's husband, who is a friend, and the couple's children, has been suspended from teaching.

He claims the allegations are untrue and motivated by retribution for "perceived slights'' and he is yet to face a committal hearing.

In Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal last month, the principal unsuccessfully argued against his teaching suspension, which began in February, being continued.

It is alleged he put his hand over the woman's right shoulder, reached around, grabbed her right breast with his whole hand and "give it a shake'', the tribunal heard.

The offence allegedly occurred in a public place in the presence of the woman's children, including a 13-year-old, who was a student at the suspended principal's school.

The woman complained to police nine weeks later and the principal claimed certain events over that period inspired the complaint.

However, Queensland College of Teachers said the evidence did not suggest the incident was motivated by revenge and said the delay in reporting was not exceptional.

A tribunal member accepted a QCT submission that there could be a number of reasons for a complainant in a sexual assault matter delaying reporting it.

The tribunal heard police also had evidence of a "lewd""message sent to the woman by the principal, who said it was a "silly meme'' which he had forwarded on.

The College said because the principal was the leader of a school, he was in a position of greater authority and responsibility.

The principal provided references that attested to him being a great educator, who was dedicated and driven to make his school safe, honest and trustworthy.

The tribunal member said the allegations were serious and ordered the suspension to be continued. Neither the principal nor his school can be identified.