Fiona Viotti, a former Bishops Diocesan College teacher, is subject to an independent investigation after allegations of sexual misconduct were raised against her earlier this year, and at least five students have claimed to have had relations with her.

Allegations emerged that Viotti had a sexual relationship with a teenage pupil at the school. When the scandal first broke, Bishops hired a senior advocate, as well as an attorney to investigate the claims.

The investigations found that the boy who came forward was one of at least five students who have had sexual relations with the water polo coach. Viotti resigned, and was booked into a mental health facility.

The school has released a statement saying that as Viotti is no longer part of their staff, it can no longer take disciplinary action against her. Bishops has maintained, however, that it is committed to working with authorities.

The investigators, including Advocate Francois van Zyl and attorney Graeme Dorrington, have said that their information is primarily coming from interviews. The investigation aims to determine who exactly Viotti sent the photographs and videos of herself to, as they were of a sexual nature.

“The investigators have informed the school of their duty to report to the appropriate authorities. The school is cooperating with the authorities in this regard. The school has also made the parents of the affected boys aware of their rights and responsibilities in this matter,” Bishops said.

The investigations have found the following:

– Viotti has engaged in sexual relations with at least five pupils while employed at Bishops between 2013 and 2019.

– The investigators are unable to determine who she sent the video and photographs to, but they were circulating on social media.

– No information was received to confirm whether the school was aware of the sexual misconduct allegations when the scandal first broke. The principal of the school was first notified of the scandal on October 10.

– The investigators found that Viotti acted in breach of the Bishops Code of Professional Conduct for Teaching Staff and the Code of Professional Ethics issued by the South African Council of Educators.

– As Viotti resigned with immediate effect on October 11, 2019, no disciplinary action can be taken against her by the school.

Picture: TravelGround

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