A teacher sexually assaulted a 15yo girl. But he thinks you should feel sorry for him.


An Australian woman, known only as Jane Doe, was 15 when she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by maths teacher Nicolaas Bester in 2010.

After six months, the teenager, who was from a broken home and had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, reported Bester to the police. He was found guilty and sentenced to two years in jail.

But despite receiving some justice, Jane Doe has never been able to tell her story.

In Tasmania, Section 194K of the Evidence Act means the identity of a sexual assault survivor can never be revealed, even with the sexual assault survivor’s full cooperation and consent.

This means Jane Doe has never been able to publicly speak about her ordeal.

Her perpetrator, however, faces no such constraints.

Jane Doe speaks to 60 Minutes…

In an interview with journalist and sexual assault advocate Nina Funnell for, the anonymous woman spoke about how it felt to see a YouTube video in which her abuser had a conversation with commentator Bettina Arndt about her “sexually provocative behaviour”.

The video, which has since been deleted, included Arndt’s defence of Bester, as she argued, “I’ve talked to many male teachers about sexually provocative behaviour from female students.”


“Sensible teachers of course run a mile from these girls but the teachers are still really vulnerable because they can easily be subject to false accusations if they reject or offend the young woman in question.

“The question that remains for me is whether there is any room in this conversation for talking to young people, particularly young girls, about behaving sensibly and not exploiting their seductive power to ruin the lives of men.”

Jane Doe told Funnell, “Ms Arndt never reached out to me… never heard my side of the story; was not present at any stage of the abuse; did not attend any of the court hearings; yet confidently labelled me a ‘provocative’ teenager who used her ‘seductive powers’ to ruin a man’s life.”

Jane Doe on 60 Minutes. Image via Channel 9.

In the video, Bester also told Arndt that his 'relationship' with the student meant he "lost everything".

"I lost my job, I lost my status in the community. I lost absolutely everything. It was a devastating time," he said.

Speaking to Funnell, Jane Doe said, "Bester didn’t run a stoplight; he abused a child. Again and again. It wasn’t a mere ‘mistake’, it was a crime."

In an interview on Sunday night's 60 Minutes, Jane Doe spoke to Allison Langdon about the injustice that comes with not being able to talk about her experience. With her face blurred and her voice changed, the woman, now 23, said, "The fact that I can’t take control of my own story, that’s frustrating".

“And it adds to that feeling of I have to be ashamed of my story, of my past – which shouldn’t be the case.”

A petition started by Nina Funnell, directed at the Tasmanian Premier and Northern Territory Chief Minister (the only two states where these laws exist), asks for amendments to the laws which prevent sexual assault survivors from telling their story.

"She deserves to be heard," the petition says.

You can sign the petition, and learn more about the campaign, here.