No, no, no, just no.

The Age: ‘Groomer’ jailed for sex with 12-year-old

No. Rape isn’t sex.

[cut for child rape triggers]

A 27-year-old man who had a year-long sexual relationship

No, no he didn’t.

with a 12-year-old neighbour has been jailed for three years.

No. He’s been jailed for ten months. Not even as long as he was raping the girl for. She was systematically tortured for a year of her childhood. He has had a slap with a damp noodle, a shitload of sympathy, protection of his anonymity, and a few months in jail.

The man was living with his father and stepmother when he began “grooming” the girl.

No parties to the matter, including the judge, can be named for legal reasons.

No? Why not? How is it in the public interest for this man to be loose in the community in ten months’ time, incognito?

The prosecutor told Melbourne County Court that the man wooed his teenage neighbour

No. She was twelve, not yet a teenager. [Hat tip to eeminy for picking this up.]

with flattery. “The prisoner would tell the complainant how gorgeous she was, he would say she looked like Drew Barrymore,” he said.

He told the court the pair would go on walks and to the movies together and that the man gave her a mobile phone. “This was part of his grooming (of her) providing her with a clandestine means of communication,” the prosecutor said.

The court heard the man told the girl he loved her. They discussed waiting to have sex until she was 16 so it would be legal, but a few weeks later he sent her a text message that said: “F— it, we should have sex, we should not have to wait because we are in love.”

The pair had sex regularly between July 2001 and July 2002.

No. No, they didn’t.

Counsel for the man said his client suffered depression and was living in a fantasy world at the time.

No. Say after me: Depression does not cause rape. Depression does not cause paedophilia. Depression does not cause one year of ongoing rapes of a twelve year old child.

His psychologist told the court a symptom of his depression had been a fantasy of a stable and loving relationship that would lead to marriage and children.

And we should care about his fucked-up child-rape fantasies why?

How is “I really reeeeally wanted to get laid, so I groomed and repeatedly raped a 12 year old” a “defence”? How?

Today, the judge said he accepted the defence’s submissions and agreed that the man’s sentence be reduced, because of his mental state and the significant delay between charges being laid and his case coming before the court.

“You lived in a fantasy world and were not able to think rationally or act accordingly,” the judge said.

No. Where is the evidence that he was floridly, completely, unthinkably out of touch with reality for twelve months straight? No. People that psychotic do not function in the community. Rape is not a mental illness.

“You are not a predator or pedophile and are not likely to re-offend in the future.”


Why is the judge not named? Why?

But he said the charges were very serious and demanded a term of imprisonment.

No, really?

“The offending involved some level of grooming and planning,” he said.

“But just a little bit. Not really worth worrying about.” No.

“The complainant was young vulnerable and the court has to take into account that these types of offences were introduced to protect the young persons who are susceptible to these types of approaches.”

He said the victim felt she had been robbed of her childhood because of the relationship.

The man pleaded guilty to four representative counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and was sentenced to 36 months jail with 26 months suspended.

How did you get “jailed for three years” out of that, Sarah-Jane Collins?

This is monumentally fucked up.


Bluemilk glommed onto this too, and nailed it:

You know you’re a second-class citizen in a patriarchy when your 12 year old female self’s pain and anguish can have medicinal value for some 27 year old man’s depression.’

Thanks Judge X for the enlightenment on male depression – apparently you can be so depressed you lose the power of reason, so depressed you don’t recognise right from wrong, so depressed you are helpless to your vile urges.. and yet somehow retain the intellectual cunning to secretly buy a mobile phone for a child so you can send her illicit text messages of emotional manipulation like “Fuck it, we should have sex, we should not have to wait because we are in love”‘

‘And this article is a perfect example of why there is a problem with using the word ‘sex’ instead of ‘rape’ when you’re talking about an act between an adult and a child. Because it will have you thinking that an adult having “sex” with a 12 year old child is somehow not paedophilia, as the judge ably demonstrates for us – “You are not a predator or pedophile and are not likely to reoffend in the future.”‘



More at The Curvature.

Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, violence

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11 replies

  1. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
    Not only has the judge completely betrayed this girl, he’s also managed to insult people sufferring from depression and other mental illnesses into the bargain.
    This also really highlights the difference between the way that abuse cases involving Aboriginal offenders are treated, as opposed to cases in which the offender is white– no one is calling for the military to intervene in the community where this girl was raised, even though there is clearly a social environment where abuse is accepted and excused. No one is making comments that tar all non-Indigenous Australians with the same brush. I hope that this isn’t derailing the discussion, but I find the contrasts to be very striking; I’m sure that if the offender had been Aboriginal this would be used as an excuse to expand the intervention, but because he’s not, people are all too happy to make insulting remarks about mental illness and depression in order to convince themselves that this sort of thing is just isolated, and not the result of damaging social attitudes towards women and girls.

  2. Nice call, Beppie.
    I hate the way that we so readily use that euphemism, “sexual abuse.” It’s RAPE.
    This whole story makes me want to scream.
    Deborahs last blog post..Garden progress report #1

  3. This is horrible.
    I can’t say it better than you have, Lauredhel.
    But Deborah’s comment made me think of something, and my sincere apologies to Lauredhel if this is too off-topic (just let me know if it is).
    As long as these atrocities exist, I think there’s room for *both* of the terms “rape” and “sexual abuse”. Deborah, I find it interesting that you think that the use of the term “sexual abuse” is covering up the fact that it’s rape (and I totally agree with you that it is, in fact, rape, and that that should be acknowledged!). For me, the term “sexual abuse” suggests a wider, more horrible atrocity than the term “rape” alone does. When I hear “sexual abuse” I think “long-term [relative to maybe one instance, anyway] course of abuse which happens to be of a sexual nature, which is often committed by someone who the victim (formerly) trusted [yes, I know that most single-instances of rape are also committed by someone the victim (formerly) trusted] and which has a serious effect on the victim that is different – and quite possibly much more severe – to the effect that one instance of rape might have [although, of course, everyone will have a different reaction because everyone is different; person A might apparently be “more seriously affected” by one instance of rape than person B appears to be by “sexual abuse”].”
    So to me, it’s kind of like a continuum from one rape to a series of rapes, and the latter is what “sexual abuse” means to me. That could be because of my legal training – that is, I have had to learn what constitutes sexual abuse, and so that springs into my mind when I think of the term.
    Anyway, I’m not trying to say that I’m right in thinking like this, and that everyone should think like me. It suggests to me that it’s one of those situations where a word has a certain meaning in common usage, but a slightly different (or more specific) meaning in jargon. So I hear the term “sexual abuse” and think of what it means as a legal jargon term. You hear the term “sexual abuse” and hear what it means in common usage. It’s a real problem, and I think it’s something that lawyers need to be much more aware of. By that I mean: in order to communicate effectively, we need to make sure that we use words in the way they are used in common usage when we want to communicate with people who will NOT be thinking in legal jargon (ie most people).
    And it makes me wonder: do journalists who spend a lot of time covering cases think of the legal jargon or the common usage? I suspect the latter – and *that* is even more of a problem! In any case, journalists *definitely* have a responsibility to write in common usage and not in jargon, and to translate if necessary, so even if the journo here intended the meaning implied by the legal jargon, that’s clearly NOT the meaning that most people are going to read, and that’s a problem. ie everything Lauredhel said 😉

  4. “You are not a predator or pedophile and are not likely to re-offend in the future.”

    How on earth could the prosecution manage to make a case with a straight face that this man’s behaviour was not predatory nor pedophilic nor likely to re-offend? And how could the judge accept such an argument with a clear conscience? How can he even view himself as a rational being?

  5. I’m so sick of cases like this being framed as “relationships”.
    Pursuing girls and manipulating them into rape =/= relationship.
    Locking up your daughter and forcing her to have sex with you =/= relationship.
    Why is it so hard for these people to use the word “rape”? That is what this is.
    And yes, Beppie, are cops now rounding up white people who are drunk in public because we need to save the white kids?
    What the hell is wrong with our society that it perpetuates such useless responses to sexual violence?
    Fire Flys last blog post..Warning! The new WordPress feature is utter trollbait

  6. Oh yeah, let us call him a “Groomer” rather than what he is a RAPIST
    Until they can get up the balls to actually call him a rapist, then I suppose they won’t be calling it rape. Maybe they will just call it “grooming” – like she is a fucking dog…..sick.

  7. In the horrifying sexual abuse annals, at least the reports of the Austrian man who kept his daughter locked in the cellar for 24 years repeatedly do use the word rape.
    There’s some good non-sensationalist reporting from the Independent here.
    Apparently all the soundproofing, plumbing and contained ventilation of the cellar etc was a byproduct of it being converted to a shelter against nuclear fallout during the Cold War. I’d somehow imagined him planning way ahead with respect to the cellar space long before he lured his daughter to the cellar and locked her in, which was a spectacularly creepy thought. The story’s way too creepy as it is.

  8. THANK YOU!!! This has been my pet peeve for the longest and especially the last couple of weeks, from the 8 year old Yemeni girl who walked to court to get a divorce (the story I read reported that her “husband” had sex with her, um no, he RAPED her, she was 7!), to the FLDS compound story where the minor girls are “spiritually married” and have sex with their “husbands” (um, nope still rape).
    What is wrong with people!? Is this really such a rape culture that we will try to pass off patently obvious rapes as “sex” even when it occurs to those who clearly cannot consent??

  9. apologies to Lauredhel if this is too off-topic

    Not at all – I have a pretty high tolerance for thread-drift, if it’s related and feminist-centred. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Not at all – I have a pretty high tolerance for thread-drift, if it’s related and feminist-centred. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    I thought it was pretty good too!
    from the 8 year old Yemeni girl who walked to court to get a divorce (the story I read reported that her “husband” had sex with her, um no, he RAPED her, she was 7!
    Aaargh! Yuk,
    *goes away to bleach brain*

  11. Thanks for saying such a nice thing about my post. I was pleased to see you taking on this story too, it needs all the criticism it can get.

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