Johannesburg - Collan Rex faced a grilling on Tuesday morning regarding penis-shaped play dough he allegedly gave to pupils as the State intensifies its sexual grooming charge.
At the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palmridge Magistrate's Court, prosecutor Advocate Arveena Persad tore into Rex during cross-examination, questioning why an adult would give minors a lewd toy instead of destroying it.
This line of questioning relates to testimony by Parktown Boys High School pupils earlier in the trial that Rex created a penis out of play dough during study sessions and allegedly took it around the room asking learners to suck on it.
However, Rex, who is a former water polo coach and hostel master at the Joburg school, said two pupils had created the "penis". He testified that he confiscated the dough but gave it back to them after the study session.
Persad would have none of it, asking Rex why, as an adult, he didn't destroy the inappropriate toy and instead gave it to children who were in Grade 8 at the time.
"I'm putting it to you that you could have and should have destroyed it (the penis-shaped play dough)," Persad charged.
Rex responded: "I could have but, like I said, it wasn't mine. I gave it back to them."
Persad then asked whether Rex thought it prudent at the time to give the penis toy back to the children to which he answered: "Yes."
Rex has pleaded guilty to 144 counts of sexual assault on 12 schoolboys aged between 13 and 16 in 2015 and 2016. He is facing an additional 142 charges ranging from attempted murder, rape, assault, sexual assault, sexual grooming and exposing minors to pornography.
The admitted paedophile was facing 183 additional charges, 41 of which he was acquitted of on Monday after an application brought by defence Advocate William Robertse.
Judge Peet Johnson acquitted Rex on the 41 counts as certain complainants did not come to testify in court.
The trial continues.