Former school Child Protection Officer sent to prison for 44 non-recent sexual assaults
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A former school Child Protection Officer has been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment after being found guilty of multiple charges of sexual assault against 20 victims.
47-year-old Alexander Charles Ralls of Hazel Mead, Dunstable, Bedfordshire appeared at Bradford Crown Court and was found guilty of 31 charges of sexual assault, 10 charges of causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, two charges of assault by penetration and one charge of sexual assault of a child under 13. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.
The court heard how, over a four-year-period while working as a Child Protection Officer and Safeguarding Lead at a school in York, Ralls used his position of trust to exploit his victims, claiming to care for them and provide them with medical treatment while actually sexually assaulting them. Both in the UK and on school trips abroad, he posed as a person with medical knowledge, instructing his victims to remove items of clothing and underwear, claiming to examine them for health reasons but then subjected them to sexual assault.
Speaking about the sentence handed to Ralls today (Monday 25 September), investigating officer Detective Constable Suzanne Hall from the North Yorkshire Police Non-Recent Abuse Investigation Team said:
“This was a complex and disturbing case where Ralls as a person in a position of trust, used his role to coerce and influence the young people he should have been caring for into a vulnerable position, which he then exploited for his own sexual gratification.
“The extent of his offending was staggering and the fact that he continued to use the same excuse of providing medical care to carry out his sickening actions, shows his utter arrogance towards and contempt of his victims. Not once has he taken any responsibility for his actions, pleading not guilty to all the charges, meaning his victims had to face a gruelling seven-week court process.
“I’d like to thank the victims for their enormous bravery in coming forward and giving their accounts. I know how difficult and traumatic that was for them. I hope the sentence handed to Ralls today helps them move on from such an upsetting period in their lives.
“I hope the sentence also gives other victims of non-recent abuse confidence to come forward and seek help and support. It doesn’t matter how long ago you may have experienced abuse, we understand the damaging effects it can have and that people can feel those effects throughout their life.
“If you choose to report the incident to police, we will listen and believe you and we will do everything we can to put those responsible in front of the courts.”
DC Hall's commitment and dedication to the victims and investigation was also recognised by a Judge's commendation.
Note to Editors - We do not have a custody image of Ralls on file.
To report child abuse or non-recent abuse
North Yorkshire Police: Call us on 101 if you have been a victim of abuse no matter when it occurred. You can also make a report online at www.northyorkshire.police.uk.
If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, always dial 999 for an emergency response.
NSPCC Helpline: Anyone concerned about a child can contact the NSPCC Helpline for advice on 0808 800 5000. Adult victims of non-recent sexual abuse can also get in touch for support.
Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) Victims who would prefer not to go direct to the police and are not in immediate danger, can contact Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 0330 223 0362, email [email protected] or go towww.bridgehousesarc.org/