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mercoledì 5 aprile 2017

"Carly's Law": harsher penalties for child rapists

A woman whose daughter was the first Australian to be lured to her death by an online predator wants to team up with Senator Derryn Hinch to demand harsher penalties for child sex offenders.

Sonya Ryan's daughter Carly was a 15-year-old when pedophile Gary Newman, 50, spent 18 months masquerading online as a young man named Brandon Kane.
He pretended to be Brandon's father and came to meet her family, but when Carly rebuffed his sexual advances on her 15th birthday he used the fake account to lure the schoolgirl to a secluded beach.
He killed her in the sand.

Ms Ryan has spent the last decade trying to inform parents and children like Carly about the risks of using the internet and has been faced with multiple victims whose futures have been destroyed by sexual predators.
Carly's killer was given a life sentence with a no parole period of 29 years.
But the 2013 South Australian of the Year said she has seen too many child sex offenders handed light sentences before being put back on the street with no supervision, while perpetrators of far less violent crimes have the book thrown at them
"I can't understand why child protection is not number one," she told Nine.com.au.
"The justice system is utterly upside down and failing children in a big way."
Ms Ryan said victims are completely destroyed by their abusers and the punishment for attackers does not compare to the pain they inflict.
"(Victims) are meant to have normal relationships and hold down a job, do all the things we are told to be a member of society, but they are shattered from within."
"Some of them, if they don't commit suicide, go on to be heavily medicated or just cannot function."

The online safety expert believes there should be no leniency for offenders who perpetrate against children.
"In my perfect Australia there would be a zero tolerance. If you have offended against a child you go to jail."
She said it is not only victims and their families who suffer when a predator is freed, as many involved in the carriage of justice are also left to grapple with the fallout.
"Think of the detectives investigating pedophiles. These people offend, are arrested and taken to court. All this work to get them through the justice system and they are given a slap on the wrist," she said.
"Then they are back on the streets offending again and no one is held accountable.
"These investigators have to sit and look at child porn. There are officers who are completely traumatised and have to leave their jobs because they simply can't cope.
"Where is the back up for these officers rescuing these kids?"     
Senator Derryn Hinch, an outspoken advocate for child sex victims, said he knows police officers who have become so frustrated with the legal process they left their jobs.
"I know a lot of coppers and they feel so betrayed. They work so hard to get someone to court, get someone in the dock and they walk about with a minor sentence. It's not worth it," he told Nine.com.au.
“The sentences do exist, they just aren’t enforced. Especially with child porn. I have seen Justices giving suspended sentences because the offenders weren’t selling the material. But for him to be looking at it, some poor kid has had to suffer to make it.”

Ms Ryan said she will be meeting with Senator Hinch in April to work on a campaign to pressure judges to follow through with harsher penalties.
Mr Hinch, who is campaigning for a public register of sex offenders, said the laws exist but magistrates feared imposing maximum sentences as they are often reduced on appeal.
"In many states the maximum penalty for rape is 30 years but the average sentence is about five or six years," he said.
He described the grounds of appeal as "manifestly inadequate by community standards" and challenged judges and magistrates to enforce harsher penalties.
"Nothing will change while judges are looking over their shoulders to see what precedence has been set. If the average sentence is five years, they won't give 15."
"Judges are stuck laying a numbers games. It's sick."
Ms Ryan has also worked with Nick Xenophon to create Carly's Law after petitioning the government with the support of almost 100,000 people.
Carly's Law will make it "illegal for adults to misrepresent their age to minors online for the purpose of grooming with the intent to meet that child".
Ms Ryan said this means police will be able to arrest child sex offenders before they ever lay their hands on their intended victims.
The legislation is currently being heard in the lower house and is expected to move through the senate within weeks.

Hinch and cyber safety expert demand harsher penalties for child sex offenders Belinda Grant-Geary  April 5, 2017


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