An Auckland school teacher accused of committing an indecent act on seven boys has taken the stand to protest his innocence.
Benjamin Swann did not have to give evidence but rather he wanted to, his defence lawyer Sam Wimsett told the High Court at Auckland.
Swann is on trial before a jury, accused of 10 charges of doing an indecent act.
He denies the claims.
Wimsett asked his client if he touched the boys' genitals.
"No, absolutely not," Swann said.
Swann maintained that when several of the boys said they were naked in front of him behind closed doors they were making it up.
The court heard that he claimed he was being sabotaged by one of the complainants, who Swann alleges was stalking him.
The police investigation into the alleged offending began after one of the boys and his mother complained.
It led to six more boys coming forward, accusing Swann of indecently touching them, the court has heard.
After learning of the initial allegation, Swann sent a message to a colleague about his shock, the court heard.
"I am still in absolute complete shock," the message read by Crown prosecutor David Stevens said.
"I am still trying to get my head around the accusation," it continued.
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.
His teaching career has spanned 30 years.
Swann, who also goes by the name Benjy, was last a teacher at Ōtāhuhu College but taught at other Auckland schools during his career.
Further details about his teaching career remain suppressed to protect the identities of the complainants.
The trial continues on Thursday.