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A former music teacher at Ballarat High School, Damien Woods, has been sentenced to four years and two months in prison for the repeated sexual assault of a student. The victim, who had trusted Woods as a close support, experienced significant harm as a result of the abuse. Woods will have the opportunity to apply for parole after serving two years and four months of his sentence.

The court heard that Woods and the victim exchanged an extensive amount of text messages, exceeding 110,000, over the years. The abuse began when the student was 17, with Woods engaging in multiple assaults on school grounds, sometimes occurring more than once a day. Judge Kellie Blair emphasized the breach of trust and detrimental impact on the victim and her family caused by Woods’ actions.

The victim’s parents expressed feeling deceived by Woods, who they initially thought was a well-meaning teacher. Woods’ defense mentioned personal struggles during the time of the offenses, including marital issues and funding cuts to his department. Despite these factors, the severity of the abuse and its consequences were not overlooked by the court during sentencing.


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Article Title: Ballarat High School teacher Damien Woods jailed for sexually assaulting student
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