‘No justice’: Child sex abuser avoids jail
A YOUNG woman who was sexually abused as a child says she would not report abuse again after watching the man who "took her childhood" walk from court.
The 18-year-old sat in Brisbane District Court as Michael David Wockner, 42, was given an 18-month suspended sentence for his sexual offending.
"If it ever happened to me again after that sentence, I wouldn't report it," the young woman said outside court.
"He's going to go home tonight to have dinner. I'm going to go home tonight knowing he's still out there."
Wockner, a Magnetic Island resident, was due to face trial on Monday morning, but instead pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent treatment of a child.
The court was told that in 2009 when he lived in Moreton Bay, Wockner watched graphic porn with the eight-year-old.
He asked the girl to touch his penis then "placed his penis on the outside of her mouth".
When Queensland Police interviewed Wockner at Magnetic Island police station in 2015, he denied the allegations, but was charged at the end of the interview.
At court on Monday, the young woman sat in the witness box to tell Wockner that she will "carry the burdens" he has inflicted on her for life.
"This process has dragged on for years, I had to sit in a courtroom and discuss the trauma you inflicted on me. I have even been called a liar," she said.
"I live in constant fear that this will happen to me again."
Defence barrister David Crews said Wockner had no prior convictions for sexual offences and his case had "exceptional circumstances" because of the delay and low-level of his offending.
"The defendant has no prior or subsequent history for sexual offending and it was an isolated incident," Mr Crews said.
Judge Orazio Rinaudo agreed that exceptional circumstances did apply and sentenced Wockner to 18 months' jail, to be wholly suspended for three years.
Convictions were recorded.
Outside court, the young woman said she was crushed that Wockner was not made to serve any time behind bars.
"Even if it was just two weeks," she said.
"I didn't have a special circumstance. I didn't get to say no I don't want that. I was a frickin' eight-year-old girl who didn't know any better.
"Girls don't like to come forward because that's the kind of sentence you get."
The young woman said she now had good support and had just started university.
She hopes to work in child protection.
Chief executive of Queensland's DVConnect Beck O'Connor said it took an "enormous amount of courage" for sexual abuse survivors to come forward.
She said it was the right of each survivor to decide if they wished to make a formal complaint to police.
"It's important that survivors are believed, and that they are treated with respect and kindness in order to support them through what can often be a lengthy and difficult judicial process," she said.
Ms O'Connor encouraged anyone who wished to report a sexual assault to visit the organisation's help page.
*For support phone the Queensland Sexual Assault Helpline on 1800 010 120 anytime between 7.30am and 11.30pm.
*For 24-hour support domestic violence support phone Queensland's DVConnect on 1800 811 811 or MensLine on 1800 600 636, NSW's Domestic Violence Line on 1800 656 463 or the national hotline 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732).
Originally published as ‘No justice’: Child sex abuser avoids jail