Former Maroochydore State High School deputy principal Kenneth Ralph Ernst has been found guilty of 11 child sex offences.
Former Maroochydore State High School deputy principal Kenneth Ralph Ernst has been found guilty of 11 child sex offences.

Courtroom erupts as former deputy principal found guilty

"YOU saw this" was shouted at one of Kenneth Ralph Ernst's supporters as the former deputy principal was found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl.

The Maroochydore District courtroom erupted in swearing and tears after a jury returned guilty verdicts for 11 of the 15 charges against Ernst, 60 of Buderim.

Ernst's wife and daughter hugged, one of them shouting at a witness they had "ruined a family", before a composed Ernst was led into custody.

The victim's supporters embraced, and included a close friend and survivors of sexual abuse.

Ernst maintained his innocence throughout the four-day trial and denied ever coming into sexual contact with the victim.

Ernst was the deputy principal of Maroochydore State High School at the time he was charged in 2017. He has also worked in teaching roles in Cairns and Rockhampton.

He was found guilty of three counts of indecent treatment of a child aged under 16, seven counts of indecent assault one indecent assault with a circumstance of aggravation.

The verdict came after the jury hearing the victim had manufactured false rape claims against others in the past, but she and her supporters stood strong until the truth came out.

Jurors were undecided after more than five hours of deliberations, but returned their verdict within the hour of a judge's direction they persist and re-examine the contentious elements.

Ernst was found not guilty of attempted rape, not guilty of two counts of indecent assault and not guilty of indecent assault with a circumstance of aggravation.

Ernst committed his sexual crimes between December 31, 1989 and June 1994 at locations across Queensland when the victim was aged 13 to 16.

Ernst touched her genitalia through her clothes, exposed his genitalia to her and repeatedly touched her breasts while giving her a massage when she was aged under 16.

When the girl was 16 he sexually assaulted her while holidaying at The Keppels.

Crown prosecutor Rebecca Marks had argued Ernst groomed the girl from a young age and acted on his sexual interest.

Ernst will be sentenced in the Maroochydore District Court this morning.