An Auckland school teacher accused of committing an indecent act on seven boys did so behind locked doors, says a prosecutor.

Benjamin Swann is on trial in the High Court at Auckland accused of 10 charges of doing an indecent act.

Swann, who also goes by the name Benjy, was last a teacher at Ōtāhuhu College and had taught at other Auckland schools in a career spanning more than 30 years.

"This case is about sexual offending by the defendant against seven young boys," Crown prosecutor David Stevens said before reading each of their first names.


Police began an investigation into Swann after one of the boys and their mother complained. It led to six more boys coming forward and accusing Swann of indecently touching them, the court heard.

Throughout many of the boys' allegations there were common themes, Stevens said.

Swann allegedly told some to remove their clothes before he performed an indecent act on them behind locked doors, the court heard.

"This was not the result of collusion between the boys," Stevens said.

"The allegations are similar because the defendant did similar things to each of the seven boys – the touching happened."

Further details about Swann's alleged offending, however, are suppressed to protect the identities of the complainants.

But Swann's lawyer, Sam Wimsett, told the jurors their job was to "spot the lies".

"It all sounds very bad, and if it were all true it would be bad," he said.


Wimsett said Swann "denies the allegations 100 per cent".

"What else can a man, a teacher, in his position do?"

However, Wimsett said the boys' stories were not entirely a fabrication.

"They are a combination of truth and half-truth and then outright falsehoods. The falsehood is the suggestion that there was anything sexual, that there was any nudity."

He asked the jury to use their life skills and knowledge of teenagers to "spot the lies in this case".

Wimsett also foreshadowed Swann giving evidence in his own defence later in the trial.

"Mr Swann is telling the truth when he denies the allegations," the lawyer added.

Benjamin Swann's teaching career spanned more than 30 years. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Benjamin Swann's teaching career spanned more than 30 years. Photo / Jason Oxenham

Last year, the 55-year-old's name suppression was lifted by Justice Patricia Courtney after the Herald, Radio NZ and Stuff journalists opposed suppression applications last May.

Ōtāhuhu College also made an application for continued name suppression and a take-down order for Swann's social media posts referring to the school.

Justice Courtney dismissed all the applications but suppressed her reasons for doing so.

Swann has voluntarily agreed to stop teaching.

Further details about Swann's teaching career remain suppressed.

The trial is expected to take three weeks.