A Melbourne taxi driver who transported deaf children to and from school has been accused of repeatedly molesting one of them as she rode in his car.
Ioannis Amourgianos, known as John, was about 60 years old when contracted to drive the “profoundly deaf” girl – aged 10 or 11 – to school from 1996 to 1998.
She would lip read when he spoke to her.
Amourgianos’ job was to pick up hearing-impaired children from their homes and take them to school before collecting them at the end of the day.
Once, when alone in his taxi with the girl, he allegedly said: “I’m a doctor, it’s OK for me to see if your breasts are okay”, a County Court jury heard on Wednesday.
The child then allegedly lifted her top with Amourgianos stating: “your left breast is bigger than your right one”.
On another occasion, the child was sitting in the back seat and asked to move into the front.
Amourgianos allegedly told her she couldn’t unless she showed him her breasts. He thereafter touched her breasts several times a week as he drove her.
Another time, Amourgianos allegedly planted a “forceful passionate kiss on her mouth lasting a few seconds”.
The same year, he placed the child’s hand on his groin and when she pulled away, slapped her on the arm.
In a separate incident, the child did something that angered Amourgianos and he responded by saying: “stop or I’ll f— you”, looking at her eyes and between her legs.
Amourgianos was arrested in February 2016 and charged with three counts of an indecent act with a child under 16.
He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say the now 80-year-old had a sexual interest in the child and was willing to act on it.
Several years later, she confided in her student welfare officer about the alleged abuse.
The defence team said the allegations were “repulsive” and although it was true Amourgianos was a taxi driver for children during the 1990s, “none of that proves the charges”. (Aap News)