Former Gladys Berejiklian employee convicted of past child sexual abuse

A former political associate of Gladys Berejiklian has escaped prison after sexually abusing two children as teenagers in the 1990s.

The man, who cannot be identified because he was under 18, was a regular babysitter for the siblings because he lived next door to them in suburban Sydney.

He began abusing the children around 1993, including in a tickle game for their clothes, in which they had to sit still and wear a blindfold. He also introduced a “game” where all three would lie naked in a pile on top of each other.

The man showered with one of the children and touched her genitals and later described sexual acts to them, but did not engage in intercourse. The abuse stopped when he stopped babysitting the children in 1996.

On Tuesday, the NSW District Court heard one of the children who had complained to police in 2016 and charged in November 2020. The man pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and two counts of aggravated indecency in April this year.

Judge John Pickering said the man was one of the first people the children trusted in life because he was an elderly neighbor with a position of authority. The man took advantage of that trust and manipulated the children into actions that would affect their lives for years to come.

In a report submitted to the trial, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Olav Nielsen, the man does not have a psychiatric disorder or an abnormal sexual interest in children such as pedophilia and does not require therapeutic intervention.

The man was described as immature and inexperienced at the time of the abuse.

The psychiatrist, who has experience working with sex offenders, said the man posed no lasting risk – sexual or otherwise – to “children in his care or other children”.

Pickering said the man would have been treated in Children’s Court had the offense been discovered in the 1990s, when it is unlikely he would have received a formal conviction. The offenses would also have been effectively eradicated over time. Former Gladys Berejiklian employee convicted of past child sexual abuse

Joel McCord

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