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    A junior rugby league referee has been jailed for 16 years after pleading guilty to numerous sexual intercourse with child charges.

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      sexual intercourse with child charges

      Referee Jailed for Sexual Intercourse with Child

      A junior rugby league referee has been jailed for 16 years after pleading guilty to numerous sexual intercourse with child charges.

      Dale Whiteman appeared at Wollongong District Court to be sentenced for sexual assault and grooming charges relating to 22 girls over a 15 year period.

      He was jailed on Friday for 16 years overall. He will have to serve a minimum of 12 years before he is eligible for parole.

      Dale Whiteman Charged with Sexual Intercourse with Child

      Dale Whiteman pleaded guilty to numerous offences, including sexual intercourse with a child aged 14-16, using a carriage service to groom and to transmit indecent material to a child under 16, aggravated indecent assault and possess child abuse material.

      Over twenty complainants spoke to police. They were all aged between 11 and 17 at the time of the offences.

      In sentencing the 32-year-old, District Court Judge Andrew Haesler said, “over a period of 15 years, Dale Whiteman in a persistent and predatory manner exploited 22 young girls for his own sexual gratification and deviant and prurient interests.”

      The court heard that Whiteman had physical contact with six of his victims, while he communicated with the remaining 16 girls online.

      He asked the complainants about whether they “preferred to wear a G-string”. Indeed, during his interview with police, he admitted that he had a “fetish” for “G-string bikini” and “swimwear.”

      He also asked the girls to send him “dirty messages” as well as photographs of them naked and engaged them in sexual acts.

      His Honour noted that the junior referee’s offending only ended when he was arrested and refused bail in March 2020, stating, “his offending did not stop with his initial arrest but only when he was jailed soon after.”

      “Deviant Sexual Interests”

      The court heard evidence from a psychologist that suggested Dale Whiteman’s symptoms of depression, loneliness and perceived social rejection contributed to his offending.

      However, he also had “deviant sexual interests” given the young ages of the victims and duration of his offending,

      Judge Haesler said Whiteman accustomed his young victims to sexual activity and his actions were “deceptive, exploitive and invasive of a child’s privacy”.

      His Honour said it was hoped the prison sentence would deter Whiteman from committing further crimes, but he also needed appropriate treatment and monitoring to prevent the “real risk” he will offend again.

      Victim Impact Statements

      Judge Haesler also focussed on the harm caused to the girls, saying that the 32-year-old’s actions, “harmed many young girls. His actions did, or had the potential to, cause lasting psychological harm to each child victim.”

      He went on to urge the victims not to feel shame for what happened, stating, “ïn a number of victim impact statements, a child indicated that they felt some guilt, shame or blame for what occurred. They should not.”

      “Each victim is a survivor of a sexual crime. Each has come forward to expose what was done to them. Each is to be commended for doing so. Each, when a young girl, had crimes committed against her. Each has complained of those crimes. They did nothing wrong. There is only one criminal here and only one person for sentence – Dale Whiteman.”

      Sexual Intercourse with Child

      Section 66A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) sets out that engaging in sexual intercourse with a child is an offence.

      You can fight asexual intercourse with a child charge in two ways. Firstly, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:

      1. You had sexual intercourse with the alleged victim; and
      2. The alleged victim was a child

      The following defences to sexual intercourse with child charges can be used:

      1. Honest and reasonable mistake: if you are charged with ‘Sexual intercourse with child between 14-16 years’, it is a defence that you held an honest and reasonable belief that the alleged victim was above the legal age of consent;
      2. Identification: The Crown cannot establish beyond reasonable doubt that you were the offender;

      Consent is not a defence as a child cannot give consent to sexual activity of any kind.

      An offence of ‘Sexual intercourse with child between 14-16 years’ carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment of 10 years. There is no standard non-parole period (SNPP).

      The maximum penalty for ‘Sexual intercourse with child between 10-14 years’ carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 16 years. The standard non-parole period is 7 years imprisonment.

      Child sexual assault charges are extremely serious. The stigma that comes with them is likely to follow a person for the rest of their life. That is why it is important to obtain advice from a specialist sexual assault lawyer who has successfully defended hundreds of these charges. You can contact Astor Legal on (02) 7804 2823 or email us at info@astorlegal.com.au.

      Looking at statistics for child sexual assault sentencing over the last 5 years, it is unsurprising to see that over 80% of persons found guilty of sexual intercourse with a child were sentenced to full-time imprisonment.  You can view come recent cases where our sexual intercourse with child lawyers were able to have charges dismissed by clicking here.

      Plainly, jail is very likely for this offence. Recent sentencing amendments have done away with suspended sentences, which further increased the likelihood of a term of imprisonment being imposed if you are found or plead guilty.

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