Sexual abuse towards children is a growing problem in Australia. Recent national figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that in 2015-16, 355,925 notifications were issued by state and territory authorities in regards to sexual abuse attacks on children. This represents an increase of 11.2 per cent on reports made in the previous year.
A case brought before the Sydney District Court highlights the severity of such attacks and the damage they leave behind.
Background of the case
The court was presented with several counts within the case. The first took place on an occasion during 1976 and 1977, when the first victim (subject A) was aged five years and staying at his grandparents' house. The offender was the youngest of the grandparents' five children. Whilst in one of two beds located in a room at the rear of the home, the offender got into the same bed and had subject A perform a sex act on him. This conduct constituted Count 1 on the Indictment. Afterwards, the offender then performed a similar sex act on subject A which constituted Count 3 on the Indictment.
In the same year, the offender was babysitting his niece (subject B) who was aged eight at the time. She had just gotten out of the bath when the offender came into the room and got into the bath. He asked her to get in, to which she obliged. When sitting with her back to the offender, he proceeded to sexual assault the young girl. She got up, left the room and told her aunt. This conduct constituted Count 4 on the Indictment. Evidence from medical reports were included in the hearing.
Despite allegations, the offender denied all offences, claiming to never having any sexual interest in children nor ever engaging in any unusual sexual fantasies. Despite his denial, the court found the evidence was too strong to ignore.
However, because the attacks took place 42 years ago and the offender no longer met criteria for juveniles, acknowledging sentencing was difficult. Under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, the court must sentence an offender for child sexual offences in accordance with the sentencing practices at the time of sentencing, not at the time of the offence. Therefore, the court gave a sentence in fitting to the legislation and the moderation of the attacks. He was sentenced to a six month imprisonment in respect of each count – to be served concurrently.
Here at Gerard Malouf & Partners, we understand the sensitivity behind sexual assault cases. Let us help you come forward and submit a claim to receive damages for the trauma you've suffered.