According to ABC News, a “well-known south coast fisherman” was finally jailed for four years over the sexual abuse of two teenage boys 20 years ago – though he may be eligible for parole in 2021. The fisherman reportedly assaulted two boys in the New South Wales towns of Eden and Wagga Wagga, with the offences taking place between 2000 and 2003.
After hearing the victim’s impactful statement, which revealed the long-lasting effects of the abuse on the victims, a Wollongong District Judge gave the fisherman a non-parole period of two years. The judge commented that because children are socialised to be subservient to adults, the two boys had looked up to their older friend and trusted him and the local trawler operator had exploited their “confusion and innocence” as his actions and motivations would not have been clear to his young victims.
The small-town fisherman reportedly put his hands down one boy’s pants and asked him to play with him before molesting the 13-year-old at a south coast rental home. The other boy related how the man tried to wrestle with him naked during a road trip. Both boys struggled to escape memories of the abuse, and one victim’s life sadly ended in suicide soon after the charges were brought against the defendant. The boy’s victim statements relayed how they felt alone, isolated and bereft of friends or understanding at school or at home. They reported trouble sleeping or maintaining relationships in the aftermath of the abuse.
Incredibly, the town of Eden ended up polarised, with many townspeople supporting the convicted fisherman, who was first arrested in 2016. Repeated adjournments delayed his trial for three years, and the tightly knit community gathered around the German-born fisherman and provided him with significant support, even in the face of the charges and late conviction. He complained of suffering “public humiliation” since his arrest, but finally, last year was found guilty on three charges of aggravated indecent assault of a person under the age of 16, and one charge of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 16.
The fisherman was acquitted of the more serious charge of aggravated sexual assault of a person under 16, but was also convicted for possessing an unregistered rifle. He currently remains in protective custody where he shares a cell with three other inmates, awaiting his eligibility for parole in December 2021.
If you have a sexual abuse case, you may have the right to compensation. Contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Compensation, Medical Negligence & Will Dispute Lawyers today.