Victorian police in pedophile rings: victims
- Type of protection : Granting release
- Category: Paedophiles in the system
- Created: Friday, 09 July 2004 15:16
- Written by AAP
A highly-organised paedophile ring involving Victorian police and former politicians had been operating in the state since the 1970s, anti-child abuse groups claimed today.
Dr Reina Michaelson of The Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program (CSAPP) and Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston today said they had been told by child sex abuse victims that former Victorian elected politicians and police members were involved in child pornography and prostitution.
Dr Michaelson said she was working with child sex abuse victims who said they had witnessed significant police corruption and protection of paedophilia rings.
"I'm working with victims whose experience included police presence, police actually involved in the sexual offences that were committed against them," Dr Michaelson said.
The allegations come in response to a damning report released by Victoria's Ombudsman George Brouwer yesterday into Victoria Police's botched handling of four cases of child sex abuse.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Simon Overland said yesterday the four cases would be reopened and two long-standing members of the force's sexual crimes squad would be investigated over their role in the cases.
The report came after Dr Michaelson provided police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon with a dossier of child sex abuse cases in Victoria in 2001.
But Ms Michaelson and Ms Johnston today called for the confidential Ombudsman's report to be made public and for a royal commission into child sexual abuse and corruption.
"When problems within Victoria Police are shown to have extended into the investigation of serious sex crimes against children, as has been revealed by the Ombudsman's investigation, it is time for the Victorian government to act," Dr Michaelson said.
"The Victorian community deserves to have 100 per cent confidence in their police force, and children especially need and deserve to know that if they report sexual abuse to the police their complaints will be investigated without fear or favour."
Ms Johnston today challenged Victorian Premier Steve Bracks to table the document in parliament after the ombudsman announced it would be kept confidential.
"I am incredibly disappointed that this is not going to be a public document," she said.
"I challenge your Premier to do what (Premier) Peter Beattie did in Queensland when he tabled the Anglican Church report which was the final death knell I suppose for the governor-general, to table this report.
"To have the guts and the courage to let the public know what's going on inside its police force."
Ms Johnston said she had also met with numerous child sex abuse victims who have: "independently pointed to certain individuals, very high profile individuals and what we believe we are looking at here is a serious network of pedophiles operating in Victoria".
She said those individuals included "former elected officials".
Ms Johnston said police had asked to speak to these victims but "we won't do that because we don't trust Victoria Police as it stands, and I think this report vindicates the decision not to take these young people to a police force they have no confidence in.
"I'm suggesting that we should have an investigation that looks into potential corruption of Victoria police officers in the child sexual abuse squad in the same way we are doing it in the drug squad."
Ms Michaelson said highly organised pedophile rings have been operating since the 1970s.
"The network hasn't stopped, it has just gotten more powerful," she said.
The Ombudsman's report made a number of key findings in his report including:
* One investigating police officer referred to a child-victim, under the age of 12, as a little slut.
* Two experienced detectives from the Sexual Crimes Squad failed to ensure that allegations of sexual and repeated misconduct by a Victoria school teacher, were properly investigated.
Source : https://www.smh.com.au/national/victorian-police-in-pedophile-rings-victims-20040709-gdjatz.html?fbclid=IwAR0_9TdPsHmgpXN9c7m5j7xYOVXlrfUZ4OFaue-Y1N4exLE2B5fKYtWueX4