A former priest and religious education teacher who used to live in the Harborough district has gone on trial charged with sexually abusing young girls.
David Goodstadt, who used in live in Gartree and now lives in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, denied all allegations against him, including that he raped one of the girls, who was under the age of ten.
Goodstadt, who has worked at John Mansfield School in Peterborough and the Thomas Deacon Academy, also in Peterborough, faces a total of 14 charges, dating back several years.
The alleged victims cannot be named for legal reasons.
The trial started at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday where a jury of four men and eight women were sworn in.
Charlie Falk, prosecuting, told the court Goodstadt used to be a priest, but had left the church a number of years ago, and had taken up teaching.
He said: “The defendant will say the abuse never happened.”
Mr Falk said the girls had not come forward in the past because of the “power and influence” Goodstadt asserted over them, and said they had been scared to disclose the allegations.
However, the allegations came to light last year, and 45-year-old Goodstadt was arrested shortly afterwards.
In total, he is charged with 14 offences.
He faces two counts of indecent assault and two counts of attempted rape against a girl aged about 14 to 16, four counts of indecent assault, three counts of rape and one count of indecency with a child, aged from seven to about 16, and two counts of indecent assault on a girl aged about 13 or 14.
The trial continues.