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Teen says principal robbed her of her innocence when he kissed her

A former student at Grace Christian School of Excellence testified that the school’s principal, Thomas Nottage, robbed her of her innocence when he hugged and kissed her in his office.

The 15-year-old girl said that Nottage kissed her so aggressively that she feared that he would have raped her if his wife didn’t return to the school.

The child said she attends counseling at the Women’s Crisis Centre.

Nottage has denied the charge of indecent assault at his trial before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt.

The child said she considered Nottage as a confidant and father figure before he allegedly indecently assaulted her on January 29, 2020.

The teen said she was outside waiting for her ride with a friend when Nottage tapped her on the shoulder and asked her to come to his office. According to the girl, they were the only ones in the building as the other students were outside.

Nottage’s wife, who is also the vice principal, had gone out, the court heard.

While in the office, the witness said that Nottage asked her if she was mad about an incident that had happened the day before. Then, he hugged her and told her he loved her.

She recalled, “I told him I loved him as a father. I mean, like someone I looked up to, like a role model. He took care of me. If I didn’t have money, he gave me food. If I was off on a day, he would ask if I was okay. He had hugged me before in his office, and on those occasions, it was just me and him. The hug he gave me on that day was inappropriate – like what a boyfriend would give to a girlfriend. He then kissed me on my lips three times. Then on the fourth kiss, he put his tongue in my mouth.”

The girl said that she backed away. Then, Nottage told her to get the water jugs to put the five-gallon water jugs in his wife’s car.

She testified, “When I looked, I realized that his wife had just pulled up outside. I got the five-gallon empty jugs and put them in the back trunk.”

The teen continued, “I then went to my friend. I was actually shaking. I was just so distraught. When he hugged me, I was scared. I didn’t know what would happen. I was shocked. I didn’t know what would happen. I felt betrayed. I had been robbed of my innocence, of my trust.”

The girl said she held back her tears before she eventually told her friend, “Mr. Nottage kissed me in the office. I told her I didn’t know what to do.”

The witness said she told her uncle about the incident when he came to collect her. She said that her uncle went into the office after her disclosure. Five minutes later, he returned to the car, and took her into the office, where he repeated her accusation.

The girl said that Nottage’s wife denied that the incident happened, although she wasn’t there.

The witness said her uncle got her mother and they returned to the school.

Once again, she recounted the incident. This time, she said, Nottage did not reply.

After leaving the school, they went to the Elizabeth Estates Police Station.

During cross-examination by Nottage’s lawyer, Keith Seymour, the witness denied that she had been beaten for being disrespectful.

The girl said that Nottage’s wife had accused her of being disrespectful and had ripped up her exam paper on January 28.

However, she said that Mr. Nottage was not there and neither her nor the other students were disciplined in relation to the matter.

The case continues next month. Attorney Samantha Miah is prosecuting.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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