Coach enticed teens to do sex acts

A FORMER Mackay sports coach and Sarina high school teacher pleaded guilty in a Brisbane court yesterday to using the internet to lure two 15-year-old female athletes into making child exploitation material.

David Joseph Trudgian was a teacher in the Mackay region at the time of the offences, which were committed between September 30, 2007 and February 1, 2008 and which involved two girls from a different northern region.

The 40-year-old father had been employed as a teacher and head coach of the Rugby League Academy at Sarina State High School but was believed to have left the position during 2008.

The Courier-Mail reported the then-15-year-old girls attended a different high school in a northern area, but Prosecutor Dennis Kinsella said they were in contact with Trudgian through state and national sprint championships. It also reported the respected sprint coach interacted with the girls through the internet and mobile text messaging.

In court yesterday, Trudgian pleaded guilty to two counts of using a carriage service to procure a child under 16 to perform a sexual act, two counts of making child exploitation material and one count of possessing child exploitation material.

Trudgian coached both juniors and seniors in the region in athletics, rugby league and rugby union and was also the former president of the Mackay Athletics Club in 2008, but did not finish the year in that role.

He had also played for Mackay Brothers rugby league team in the NQ Mercury Cup.

More recently, Trudgian was employed as a senior player/coach for the Craigieburn Phoenix rugby league club, which is a suburb of Melbourne.

He is also a Level 2 sprints coach, coaching athletes to international and national medals.

A Department of Education and Training spokesman confirmed Trudgian was no longer an employee of the department but could not confirm other employment details due to privacy legislation.

Trudgian’s case was adjourned to a date to be set for sentencing.

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