Breaking Kettering Northampton

A drama teacher sexually abused girls as young as 15-years-old in his class during a reign of abuse which lasted five years, a court heard

Christopher Lynch, 38, abused his position of power and targeted teens who wanted to become actresses by sexually assaulting them at the theatre group he set up in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

He was yesterday found guilty of 11 counts of sexual abuse – including one rape, four counts of sexual activity with a child, and three counts of sexual assault.

Lynch set up and ran an amateur dramatics company – but used it as an opportunity to “prey” and target vulnerable young girls who had an interest in acting.

The twisted man sexually assault his victims during one-to-one auditions between 2013 and 2017, Northampton Crown Court heard.

And he avoided having other people present during the auditions – ensuring he was alone with each of his teenage victims so he could abuse his “position of trust.”

The 38-year-old held the auditions in private rooms in a church, a youth centre, and at his own home address – where he would rape and assault the young girls.

He would tell his “vulnerable” victims, who were all aged between 15 and 19, that the sessions would help them further their careers in the acting world.

In one case, he had visited a victim’s home to discuss a play and used the opportunity to sexually assault her, police said.

The horrific abuse came to light after brave victims independently spoke to friends and family members about the assaults – in some cases, years afterwards.

The complaints were all independent, and none of the victims knew each other, police confirmed.

After a 10-day trial, the abuser was found guilty of one count of rape, three counts of sexual assault and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

He was also found guilty of two charges of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and one of facilitating and commissioning a child sex offence.

He was found not guilty of one sexual assault.

Judge Rebecca Crane adjourned sentencing until November 15, 2021, and Lynch was remanded into custody ahead of the hearing.