Disgraced singing coach sentenced for sexual assault

Cassandra Morgan |

A lauded singing teacher who sexually assaulted a student has been handed a good-behaviour bond.
A lauded singing teacher who sexually assaulted a student has been handed a good-behaviour bond.

A woman sexually assaulted by one of Australia’s leading singing coaches says she hasn’t sung since the day he shattered her trust.

David Jaanz, the founder of Jaanz International Singing Academy, was on Thursday sentenced to a two-year good behaviour bond after he sexually assaulted the now 27-year-old on November 5, 2023.

The woman stood and read her victim impact statement to Melbourne Magistrates Court, telling a magistrate and more than 30 supporters what was meant to be just another singing lesson became the worst day of her life.

The woman – who cannot legally be identified – said she met Jaanz, 62, when she was a child and looked to him as a father figure before he assaulted her.

“The last six months of my life have been nothing short of hell,” she told the court.

“There is absolutely no reason for a singing teacher to have his hands in (someone’s) pants.

“He asked me whether I had my period and grunted his disappointment when I said yes.”

The woman said she hadn’t sung since the day Jaanz abused her, and she had flashbacks of his hands and mouth on her body.

She lost her zest for life when he assaulted her and was financially “decimated” in the aftermath, she said.

“I cant think of anything more degrading than stripping a woman’s sexual agency away from her,” the woman said.

“Today is about me reclaiming my power … he will never hurt me again.” 

Jaanz appeared in court via video link from his home in Queensland, where he moved with his family after he was charged over the attack.

He resigned as a director of Jaanz International Singing Academy and some of the business was shut down after Jaanz was charged, his barrister William Barker said.

Jaanz’s wife, who was ill, was standing by him after the assault.

Magistrate Kay Robertson said Jaanz’s guilty plea and resignation from the academy showed he accepted the seriousness of the assault. 

“You were in a position of trust over her,” Ms Robertson said.

“She was someone who totally admired you, learnt from you and believed that you were someone she could trust”

She acknowledged Jaanz’s wife’s poor health and the “tough time” he had growing up.

The magistrate commended Jaanz’s victim for her courage.

“It clearly has had a very serious impact on her although having heard he statement and listened to her courage, I am confident she can move on,” Ms Robertson said.

The magistrate convicted Jaanz of sexual assault and sentenced him to a two-year good behaviour bond. 

He will also have to pay $5000 to the court fund.

Jaanz was a lauded singing teacher revered by students and celebrities including Delta Goodrem.

The singer-songwriter described him in a testimony on the academy’s website as a “beacon of guidance for young singers”.

The academy is touted as Australia’s “number one” singing school with a track record of students going on to land major industry roles and win singing competitions including The Voice and Australian Idol.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

AAP