Seventy year old Whyalla resident Jose Tosti pleaded guilty this month to the serious crime of aggravated possession of child exploitation materials. The Whyalla man was investigated by Police during October 2016, during which time Mr Tosti’s home was attended by Police and his computer searched. On the defendants personal computer Police found over 100 videos of sexual nature depicting children under the age of 14 and a further 37 videos involving children aged between 14-16.
The defendant like most Paedophiles at first attempted denial of the claims offering excuses of how the 100’s of video came to be in his possession although the judge did not elaborate of his exact excuse it was firmly denied by the judge before the defendant accepted responsibility for his collection of child exploitation material.
The judge presiding the trial explained “This matter plainly calls for sentences of imprisonment especially having regard to the number of videos”. Before listing numerous reasons to why he should suspend Mr Tosti’s sentence.
The judge went on to say “I expect it has been difficult and traumatic for him(Jose Tosti) to admit to his family his offending, and to take responsibility for that offending to them.”
I make not of this phrase because as a society we are aware that in creation of child exploitation material it is not a victimless crime. There is an abundance of suffering and abuse that goes into each of the 137 videos Jose Tosti downloaded onto his computer. For a judge to suspend an offenders sentence with reasoning that being caught with category 5 (the highest offending category on the COPINE scale) child pornography must have been traumatic for him is beyond words.
The judge acknowledged this in stating “possessing child exploitation material is contributing to that industry and therefore contributing to that harm to children.”
Mr Tosti’s sentence originally almost set at two years was suspended on a three-year good behaviour bond.
I write this in hopes that people who read it along with my other articles regarding adults exploiting children for sexual gratification will realise that our courts are consistently failing our communities by imposing no penalties for these crimes.
Prison sentences not only serve as punishment for the offender they also exist as a deterrent to help put a stop to the behaviour by others. If every paedophile knows there is no punishment for the crimes then what reason besides morality do they have to cease their disturbing behaviour.
The judge also ordered no mandatory psychological counselling because he (the judge) has reservations about its effectiveness. Even though much literature and articles state that counselling greatly helps stem paedophilic urges in offenders. The judge instead told Mr Tosti he should go home and reflect on his crime.
The single penalty that was applied to Jose Tosti was his request to have his identify suppressed was denied by the judge.
This soft sentence of sex offenders needs to stop. In the last month 5 paedophiles have been brought before the courts in South Australia that I have found and each one has been set free on good behaviour bonds. Harsher penalties must be sought for individuals who consume child exploitation material to keep them out of our communities. Just because they can’t cure the disease does not mean they should simply put them back with no punishment for their crimes, not even a simple punishment as barring offenders from accessing the internet.
What do you think the legal system should do to discourage this behaviour in our society? Let me know in the comments.