Posted January 21, 2020 16:44:46
A South Australian child sex offender has unsuccessfully asked the Supreme Court to suspend his reporting obligations in a bid to improve his chances at online dating.
- GD was convicted last November of breaching his reporting obligations by using an online dating site
- In 2003, he was convicted of indecently assaulting his daughter
- He remained offence free for 17 years
The 58-year-old — who is referred to as “GD” by the Supreme Court — admitted breaching his reporting obligations after telling a psychologist he was already using an online dating site to meet women.
He was speaking to psychologist Richard Balfour in preparation for his Supreme Court application to suspend his reporting obligations when he made the admission.
The matter was referred to police, and he was charged.
Last November, he was placed on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
The father of three became a registered child sex offender after pleading guilty in 2003 to three counts of indecently assaulting his nine-year-old daughter in 2000 and 2001.
He received a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
“The police apprehension report states that [GD] made full and frank admissions regarding the offences against his daughter,” Justice Greg Parker stated in his decision.
“He stated that he began to have sexual urges towards his daughter after the breakdown of his marriage in July 2000.
“He stated that these urges peaked in about September 2000 when he began touching his daughter.”
Following his conviction, GD became subject to lifelong reporting obligations, which included restrictions on interstate travel and having contact with children.
They also included reporting any contact with a child to police within two days and informing parents he was a registered offender if he stayed overnight in the same premises.
GD says disclosure obligations are hindering his dating
The court was told GD worked for a Commonwealth public authority for 38 years, until he was made redundant in 2018.
“Apart from the three convictions for indecent assault of his daughter in 2003 … [he] has no other convictions,” Justice Parker said.
“[GD] has sought to make contact with women in his age group through the use of the dating site RSVP.
“He met and dated several women through the use of the RSVP site but has not had any contact for a few years.
“He has made the present application because he believes an order that will relieve him from statutory disclosure obligations that will hinder the development of a relationship.”
Mr Balfour prepared a report for the court, assessing GD “as having a low level of sexual risk” and saying “the probability of his reoffending is very low”.
“In the opinion of Mr Balfour, [GD] used the opportunity granted by the suspension of his sentence to fully rehabilitate himself and to remain offence free for the past 17 years,” Justice Parker said.
“Mr Balfour considered that his prognosis to continue to remain offence free is excellent.”
Police opposed the application to suspend reporting
Justice Parker said GD argued his Australian National Child Offence Register (ANCOR) reporting obligations “had limited his ability to establish an enduring relationship with an adult female”.
Police opposed the application to suspend his reporting obligations, saying GD’s offences were serious and his victim was vulnerable.
It also opposed the application because GD had recently failed to disclose his use of RSVP.
Justice Parker said the reporting obligations were “less likely to interfere with his prospects of developing a relationship with a woman than he believes to be the case”.
He said even if he granted the application sought, GD would still be required to inform his RSVP date of his past offending if she had children and he stayed overnight in the house.
“The present application has been advanced based upon a misunderstanding of the actual disclosure obligations which apply to [GD],” he said.