A former Tayside college lecturer and Victim Support adviser has categorically denied sending indecent images to two “vulnerable” teenagers.
Lewis Bryan, who taught at Dundee and Angus College, is accused of “grooming” the two boys on social media while they were students aged 17 and 18.
He was said to have sent explicit photographs and videos of himself and allegedly tried to blackmail one boy into sending sexual selfies on Snapchat by threatening to not send away his coursework for marking.
Bryan, 29, of Beechwood Road in Arbroath, took to the witness stand during his trial at Dundee Sheriff Court on Monday to deny all charges against him.
When asked by fiscal depute Charmaine Gilmartin whether he gave students access to his Snapchat profile, he replied: “The account’s username is public so it can be accessed by someone without me giving them permission.
“My stories on Snapchat were public so could be seen by anyone for 24 hours.”
Bryan added that he uploaded a photo of himself with the caption “send nudes…obviously” to his public stories, rather than sending the message to the boys directly.
He explained: “It was not directed at any individual.
“The caption is a worldwide internet joke that’s been going on for a few years now.
“It was me jumping on the bandwagon.”
Asked whether he sent photographs and videos of his genitals to the boys, and whether he tried to blackmail a student, he replied “no”.
In her closing remarks, Ms Gilmartin told the jury that Bryan had used his position to gain access to students and his experience at Victim Support to win their trust throughout 2017 and 2018.
She added: “I would suggest there’s an element of grooming.
“The complainants are perhaps considered to be vulnerable.
“One was fragile due to personal circumstances and the other had confided in him about mental health difficulties.
“Very quickly after joining him on Snapchat the indecent communication started.”
Bryan’s solicitor Paul Parker Smith said the allegations against him had been “concocted” after one of the students received a bad mark.
He added: “You would have thought someone would have the sense, if they were receiving upsetting messages, to screenshot them.
“Had there been evidence of these screenshots, that would have settled the matter.”
The jury is expected to deliver a verdict next week.