Bishops sex scandal investigation finds Fiona Viotti targeted five pupils
Cape Town – No disciplinary action will be taken against former Bishops teacher Fiona Viotti after an investigation found she had engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils.
"As the teacher resigned from Bishops with immediate effect on the 11th October, 2019, no disciplinary action can be taken against her by the school for these breaches," headmaster Guy Pearson said in a statement on Monday.
The 32-year-old former history teacher and water polo coach, who is married, quit amid allegations of a relationship with an 18-year-old pupil on October 10. The school later announced more pupils might have been involved.
Investigators advocate Francois van Zyl and attorney Graeme Dorrington emphasised their findings were based on information obtained during interviews, EWN reported.
The investigators found Viotti had 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.
The probe could not determine to whom Viotti had allegedly sent photographs and videos of herself, which were of a sexual nature.
In the statement, Bishops said it was co-operating with the authorities.
“The investigators have informed the school of their duty to report to the appropriate authorities. The school is co-operating 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.”
During the period 2013 to 2019, while employed as a teacher at the school, she had engaged in sexual misconduct with at least five pupils, the investigators determined.
No information was received by the investigators that indicated the school had any knowledge about the sexual misconduct with pupils.
The school said Viotti had opted to not make written submissions to the investigators after her resignation.
“My client was not interviewed,” Viotti’s lawyer, William Booth, confirmed to the Weekend Argus.
“I advised her not to (comment) because it wasn’t a hearing. There was no disciplinary inquiry because she had already resigned.”
After her resignation, Viotti was reportedly admitted to a psychiatric clinic and later discharged. Last week, a source claimed the teacher had been readmitted to the clinic for further treatment, News24 reported.
“Fiona wasn’t in a state to be interviewed as she was under medical treatment.
"And we provided the inquiry with her reasons why,” said Booth.
Netwerk24 reported that two of the boys were in matric, one is in Grade 11, one is a student at UCT and another lives overseas and is the father of a child.
Viotti's father, Dave Mallett, is the director of Founders House, home for 75 boarders at Bishops, and is also in charge of rugby.