Rowing coach to face rape charges

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Police have charged a rowing coach who taught at several elite Victorian private schools, including The Geelong College, with several historic offences.

Simon Rich Harrison, 56, faces nine charges including rape, sexual penetration of a child and indecent assault, the Herald Sun reported this week.

Geelong Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team detectives also charged the Williamstown man with sex offences against a child under 18 who was under his care, supervision or authority.

He most recently worked at Xavier College where he was coach and director of rowing from 2010 to 2017.

It’s believed he has worked in a number of other positions at Xavier College since he left the school, and was also a casual coach at Firbank Grammar in 2017.

Prior to that, Harrison served as director of rowing at Fintona Girls’ School from 2005 to 2010, Melbourne Girls’ Grammar from 2002 to 2004 and Caulfield Grammar for seven years in the 1980s.

He had also been employed by the Mercantile Rowing Club as an elite development coach, but is no longer linked to the group.

The Victorian Institute of Teaching last week suspended his teacher registration on an interim basis .

Mr Harrison will face Geelong Magistrates’ Court for a committal mention on August 21.

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