A Private Member's Bill for mandatory life sentencing of child sex offenders in SA

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Attention: Senator Nick Xenophon

Summary

In 2015 in South Australia alone, 387 children aged 14 and under were sexually assaulted.

Despite overwhelming evidence paedophiles cannot be rehabilitated, our judicial system continues to allocate grossly inadequate sentences, releasing these predators back into our communities thus sealing the fate for more of our children.

To compound this, in a study of ‘undetected recidivism’ it was determined that child sex offenders committed two to five times as many sexual assaults than resulted in convictions. Therefore the scope of South Australia’s problem is far greater than that captured through these conviction rates.

SAPOL work tirelessly to apprehend these offenders, only to have them released within months – or if we are lucky, years. Many never receive a custodial sentence at all.

This petition is to demonstrate South Australia’s support for mandatory life sentences, without the possibility of parole, for child sex offenders. We entrust you to advocate this on our behalf, through a Public Members Bill introduced into Parliament, prior to the upcoming election.

This petition is also to request your advocacy to the Department of Public Prosecution and Attorney General that the June 2017 sentencing of South Australian child sex offender Dylan Keneally be appealed.

Background

The South Australian Attorney-General Department’s Office of Crime Statistics and Research published an Information Bulletin summarising the key South Australian findings from Recorded Crime - Victims, Australia, 2015 (cat. no. 4510.0) released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on July 13 2016. This annual publication provides information on the number of victims of a selected range of offences brought to the attention of police in Australia, and recorded by them in the period 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2015.

For South Australians this report highlighted we have a higher sex offence victimisation rate per 100,000 population than that of the National Average and we are ranked the 3rd highest state or territory for this offence to occur.

The report also outlined the number of victims of sexual assault by age and sex in South Australia.

144 children within the age group 0-9 years were sexually assaulted in this period with a further 243 children aged 10-14. That is a total of 387 children aged 14 and under that were sexually abused in one year in South Australia.

Last month a Port Augusta man was sentenced for multiple offences involving the sexual exploitation of children. I will let you read the sentencing remarks, as I cannot.

The local paper however – the Transcontinental, reported “Dylan Keneally, 33, pleaded guilty in the District Court in Adelaide to two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a person under 14, producing and disseminating child pornography and failing to comply with reporting obligations.

In 2012, Keneally was charged with having child pornography and served nine months’ jail….

In September 2016 Keneally used an internet messenger service to disseminate videos of children as young as three involved in sexual behaviour.

While communicating with another man who was in fact a police officer in America, Keneally sent to the Officer videos of the acts and made admissions to further misconduct with the victims. The victims, a boy aged three and a girl aged five, were known to Keneally”.

Due to an early guilty plea, Keneally received a 40 percent reduction in his penalty and was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months jail with a non-parole period of eight years starting from when he was first taken into custody”.

This is a complete miscarriage of justice and it must end.

As Charles R. Swindoll once said, ‘every day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children’ – how will you be remembered Senator?



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