On February 29, 2016, a man was convicted of 19 sexual offences against children. The judge sentenced him to an aggregate sentence of 21 years and six months in prison, with a non-parole period of 16 years. The man recently sought an appeal against his conviction, but what did the court conclude?
Background of the offences
There were two victims of the applicant's offences, 'A' and 'B', both of whom are sisters. 'A' was born in 1993 and 'B' in 1997, and both were born and raised in Africa and later migrated to Australia with their mother and siblings in 2003.
'A' said she first met the applicant in 2005 at a train station. She claimed the man approached her and asked whether she would like to get into modelling. Her mother said she later received a phone call from the man in which he stated he would come to the family's house to talk about the modelling in more detail.
After speaking with her mother, 'A' expressed she was excited and happy to model for the applicant. Sometime later, the man came to their home in Cabramatta. After greeting the family, the man said he had something to show 'A'. They went to the back of the house and the applicant pulled out his genitals, exposing them to the young girl. 'A' said she was scared and wanted to tell her mum but felt like she couldn't.
Following this incident, the applicant engaged in non-consensual sexual activities with the young girl. This involved taking inappropriate images, digitally penetrating and attempting to have intercourse with 'A'. He also sexually assaulted 'B' on numerous occasions.
What did the Court of Criminal Appeal decide?
After addressing the seriousness of the offences, considering the applicant's extensive criminal record of prior sexual offences and other factors relevant to sentencing, the Court of Criminal Appeal felt that the sentencing judgment was comprehensive and fair.
The man had taken advantage of the young girls and used his power and position to demonstrate disturbing behaviour – acts the court felt destroyed 'A' and 'B's innocence.
As such, the man's appeal was dismissed, leaving the original decision standing.
If you or a loved one has experienced any form of sexual assault, it's important to seek help. Along with contacting the local authority, speaking with a specialised lawyer can help you receive the justice you deserve. For more information, get in touch with the team at Gerard Malouf & Partners today.