51 Year old teacher living in Kersbrook, Adelaide was found guilty on the 28/2/18 of aggravated production of child exploitation material and aggravated possession of child exploitation material. These are legal terms for producing child pornography and possessing child pornography.
It was found the defendant [who was unnamed in the Judges sentencing comments to protect the identity of the victim] who was alone in his Kersbrook home with his step-daughter. The defendant waited for the victim to enter the shower before creeping around to an outside window, opening it quietly and just enough to fit his phone through, hit record and filming her naked while showering. The video lasted over 10 minutes. The victim was only 14 at the time.
Her Step-father knew he would be undetected due to the child’s disability which leaves her sight in only one eye, no peripheral vision in her good eye and blurry vision due to astigmatism and required corrective glasses to see.
Several days later, the defendant left his mobile phone unattended and thankfully was discovered by his then wife. Shortly after the phone was found she discovered the footage of her daughter naked in the shower in an 11 minute video obviously filmed by her then Husband. After being confronted by the victims mother the footage was swiftly deleted and his marriage was over.
At the time of producing the child pornography the defendant was a well-respected private school teacher and was the schools SACE coordinator.
Why did he do it?
Thankfully the court did reject his excuses, lets list them off.
[These and paraphrased for the transcripts]
I made and watched the recording to satisfy a non-prurient curiosity in my daughters adolescent development.
You waited until your wife was out of the state and your other step-daughter was staying with a friend to sneak to the bathroom window and film your naked step-daughter showering out of curiosity? What the fuck? What did you expect to find out? The only curiosity you had was whether you could produce some child porn you sick bastard.
(also in case you were wondering prurient means, basically think – Unwholesome)
It was the end of the school year and I was under work related stress.
You know what I do when I’m under work related stress? Not film naked children in the shower for my own personal sexual satisfaction. Try going for a walk next time…without your phone…also not near windows.
I was under stress because I’m preparing my house for sale.
See previous statement. producing child porn should not be your go-to for stress relief.
I was under stress due to difficulties in my marriage.
Holy shit. Seriously. You know what isn’t going to help your marriage? Filming your wife’s disabled daughter naked in the fucking shower you knob head. What is wrong with you, that you would even try this flimsy bullshit in court.
Defendants council attempted to downplay the events by reminding the court the footage was only a 1 (the lowest category) on the COPINE scale. The defendant did not disseminate the footage nor did he attempt to profit from it.
Does that really make it better? A man in a position of trust and a father figure filming his step-daughter naked for his own sexual gratification. I don’t think the fact he didn’t sell the special edition DVD with widescreen with added commentary on the deep-web makes his crime more acceptable.
The defence also reminded the court that he only kept the footage for three days before deleting it.
But he didn’t do this because he’s a good guy or because the guilt and shame was overwhelming him, he deleted it because his wife found a video of her daughter in the shower on his phone! If she hadn’t of found it, he would still have it on his phone maybe by now he would have made a bunch more, who can say.
The defendant was unwilling to admit in court that the film was recorded for his own sexual gratification. Rather (from what I distilled from the remarks) he has instead stood by his previous claim of curiosity in his step-daughters body and its development. Though the defence claimed he was at very-low risk of re-offending the judge did note he has not sought psychological help or willingness to develop coping mechanisms.
The final judgement for the former teacher was 15 months imprisonment (kind of). The judge made comment that the former teacher turned paedophile had already lost his career, his love and his reputation. All these are ‘considerable’ losses.
In light of his ‘considerable’ losses the judge found there was good reason to suspend a prison sentence in lieu of a $500 two year good behaviour bond and no further restrictions or conditions.
The defendant did not spend a single day in custody not did he step foot inside prison walls. Yes, granted he will never hold a position teaching again. Is this sentence socially or morally fair? Especially taking into consideration the defendant refused to acknowledge what he did was sexually motivated.
Should the production of child pornography end in anything less then a prison sentence? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.