Youth allowed home to Australia after being charged with attempting to rape Loretto pupil

Loretto had played host to an Australian pupil as part of a 10-week long exchange scheme
Loretto had played host to an Australian pupil as part of a 10-week long exchange scheme
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AN Australian exchange student has been charged with attempting to rape a pupil at Scotland’s oldest boarding school.

George Lehmann, 16, is alleged to have sexually assaulted the teenage girl, in the grounds of the fee-paying Loretto School in Musselburgh.

Officials at the private school contacted police following the incident last month, and the schoolboy was arrested and held in police cells.

He appeared at Haddington Sheriff Court, where he was released on bail and has been allowed to return to Australia.

Lehmann, who attends the prestigious King’s School in Sydney, was one of two pupils on a 10-week exchange stay at the East Lothian school.

The alleged attack is said to have occurred during the evening of Saturday, November 10 in the grounds of the school.

In a statement released yesterday, Loretto said: “We can confirm that an alleged incident took place at the school during the evening of Saturday, 10th November.

“The alleged incident involved two pupils, one a short-stay Australian exchange pupil.

“Loretto reported the incident immediately and the school is co-operating fully with the relevant authorities.”

Dr Tim Hawkes, headmaster of the King’s School, Australian’s oldest private school, said Lehmann had been suspended from school but said there were no plans to expel him. He said: “We have a vibrant exchange programme operating which involves students going to some 19 leading schools around the world.”

Lehmann appeared in private on November 13 where he faced two charges under the Sexual Offences Scotland Act 2009. He made no plea or declaration before being released on bail.

A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “A 16-year-old male has been arrested and charged in connection with an alleged sexual assault that happened in Musselburgh on Saturday, November 10.

“He was due to appear at Haddington Sheriff Court on Tuesday 13 November.”

A Crown Office spokeswoman confirmed Lehmann had been released on bail and said no further court dates had yet been set.

Loretto is Scotland’s oldest boarding school and provides education for some 600 pupils aged 3-18. Famous former pupils include former chancellor Alistair Darling, journalist Andrew Marr, and Formula 1 champion Jim Clark.

Founded in 1827, it is set in an 85-acre campus and is home to boarding and day pupils.

Annual fees are in excess of £27,000.

• This story was amended on January 4, 2013, to change details of the charge involved from rape to attempted rape.