“My daughter keeps asking if the naughty man is in jail” … and he’s not

it's not sex, it's rape
[trigger warning]

The Grafton Daily Examiner: “Man free after child sex conviction”

“MY daughter keeps asking if the naughty man is in jail – what do you tell her? She’s only five years old.”

Ronald Dean King, apparently, has suffered enough, with his fourteen months in prison awaiting sentencing. He has received only a two year suspended sentence – for breaking into a house and raping a four year old girl.

The victim’s parents said the sentence devastated them.

They said their daughter, who was four at the time of the assault, is still plagued with nightmares and violent outbursts and their marriage has disintegrated under the stress.

How? How? How?

Not once does this newspaper article say the word “rape“. Not “child sexual abuse“. Not “molestation“. Not “paedophilia“.

No, it’s a “child sex conviction“, and he was found guilty of “sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 10.”

It’s. Not. Sex. It’s. Rape. Horrendous, sickening, horrifying, nightmarish, gruesome, rape. Of a tiny girl, tucked up in bed in her grandmother’s house.

Home burglary has an average sentence of one year and ten months. (Around here. I’m assuming it’s similar around Grafton.)

Can someone please explain to me what exactly about breaking into a home and raping a four year old warrants a more lenient sentence than the nicking of a few silver spoons and a DVD player?

And is it really any wonder people don’t report? What hope can women and children have for our reports doing any good when the rapists are straight back on the streets? Was it worth the trauma of the report and the investigation and trial process for this family? Does anyone really believe that this man who brutally raped a four year old is all fixed now and safe to be around?

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Article written by

Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

20 Responses

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  1. orlando
    orlando at |

    Is there anyone we can contact to protest? I’m terribly ignorant of our legal system, but I would like to help register public outrage.

  2. blue milk
    blue milk at |

    I agree orlando… we really should make a campaign out of this one, it is just completely and utterly wrong.

  3. QoT
    QoT at |

    ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH and yet again, sorry apologists, it ain’t a fucking case of “waa waa court needs to determine if it was rape”. He was fucking CONVICTED. Of RAPING A FOUR-YEAR-OLD. In my totally-un-humble opinion, anyone who can even conceive of using the phrase “sexual intercourse” dispassionately when we’re discussing RAPING A FOUR-YEAR-OLD needs to seek help of some kind.

  4. Melanie
    Melanie at |

    It seems we as a society value possessions more than we value the innocence and bodily autonomy of a 4 year old. How screwed up is that? I will definitely be part of any campaign about this. (And what the #$@% is with all these newspapers using the word SEX instead of RAPE. Goddamn it!)

  5. Louise
    Louise at |

    I hate our legal system so much.

    Poor little girl. WTF is wrong with our society? And why the hell is this the only place I can find outraged about it?

  6. moorspede
    moorspede at |

    I don’t understand, the SMH reported these laws changed in December. Do you think it was because he was charged earlier?

  7. Angus Johnston
    Angus Johnston at |

    I originally thought that maybe the GDE didn’t use the word “rape” in the article because the crime of rape, under that name, no longer exists in New South Wales. But a quick glance through their archives shows that they do use the term when reporting on sexual assault (though infrequently).

    In this instance, the light sentence seems to have been the result of a plea bargain. It’s odd that the newspaper didn’t report on why the government agreed to let Mr. King plead out, particularly since the decision seems to have been made without any consultation with the victim’s family.

  8. wiggles
    wiggles at |

    the crime of rape, under that name, no longer exists in New South Wales.

    Wait. What?!?!

  9. tigtog
    tigtog at |

    @ wiggles:

    The Crime has been renamed in the Criminal Law Act. There are now various degrees of sexual assault defined as crimes. This was hard fought for by many feminists and rape support groups in the 70s and 80s – the idea was that “rape” was too nebulous a term that could easily be defined away by an unscrupulous defence lawyer out to befuddle a jury. The distinct elements of each degree of sexual assault are very clearly laid out in the new laws.

  10. Mirthful
    Mirthful at |

    That’s just sickening.

  11. Helen
    Helen at |

    Apparently rape is also “sex” in SA.


  12. Helen
    Helen at |

    Oh, and that was a 4 YO too.

  13. orlando
    orlando at |

    The SA version doesn’t look like the same sort of reporting as the excerable Grafton example. As Tigtog points out, the term sexual assault wasn’t coined to diminish the seriousness of the crime. The motivation was to help victims feel less stigmatized and improve public awareness that all forms of sexual violation are criminal, by ensuring that all incidents falling within the full spectrum of sexual abuse are labelled assault.

  14. Deborah
    Deborah at |

    The ABC is reporting that the Director of Public Prosecutions is coming under pressure to appeal the sentence: Anger after child rapist walks free.

    Note the language…

  15. The Amazing Kim
    The Amazing Kim at |

    In this instance, the light sentence seems to have been the result of a plea bargain.

    It’s been a while since I did Criminology, but I didn’t think we had plea bargaining in Australia…

  16. Jud
    Jud at |

    There’s a certain level of anger that goes beyond words directly into barking. So I’m here, barking at my screen right now.

    The home invasion charge alone should’ve landed him that sentence. Then he should’ve spent a good two decades in jail after that for raping that little girl.

    And I believe the parents of this girl ought to be legally permitted to smack the shit out of anyone who uses the phrase “child sex” to describe an adult raping a child.

  17. Deborah
    Deborah at |

    Sidetrack: Lauredhel, the jpg – “It’s not sex, it’s rape” – can we (i.e. me!) lift that and use it? With acknowledgement, of course.

    Back to the main discussion – The NSW DPP is appealing against the sentence, arguing that it is manifestly inadequate.

  18. MarjakaThriver
    MarjakaThriver at |

    I’m glad that you are raising awareness on this truly sickening injustice through The Blog Carnival Against Sexual Violence. This was a tiny, innocent, developing CHILD!

    Would you consider also submitting this post (and the post about the 10-year-old as well, perhaps–these are CHILDREN!!) to the BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE? I maintain that carnival and we have another edition coming up in April. Details are at my blog. Thanks, in advance, for considering.

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