Casino sex fiend father walks free

A CASINO father was yesterday released into the community, despite being convicted of 74 counts of sexually abusing his young daughter.

The 48-year-old man, whose name has been suppressed to protect the identity of his daughter, yesterday pleaded guilty in the Lismore District Court to 27 counts of having sex with his daughter against her will; and of committing acts of indecency against her between January and July last year, when she was aged 10 and 11.

The indictment against the man included another 47 similar counts of sexual assault against his daughter, which the man had confessed to after he was initially charged. The man also volunteered information that led to 10 of the 27 formal charges.

The man’s admissions came after he was entered into the Cedar Cottage Pre-Trial Diversion Program in Sydney – a program for people who have sexually assaulted their children.

The two-year program aims to make offenders take responsibility for their crimes and prevent them from re-offending, without putting their victims through the court process.

Offenders accepted into the program are not sent to jail, but are expected to enter guilty pleas to the charges against them and abide by strict conditions while in the program.

Those conditions include things such as offenders not living with their victims, or anywhere else where there are children aged under 16, not have any contact with their children, and attending all counselling sessions scheduled through the program, along with any other conditions imposed by the program’s director.

Failing to comply with any of the conditions could result in an offender being sent back to court for sentencing by a judge and possible jail term.

Offenders have to be referred to the program by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to be considered for a place in the program.

Vicki Hamilton, executive director of Heartfelt House, an organisation that helps the victims of child sex abuse, declined to comment on the specifics of the case, but said she understood Cedar Cottage had a ‘rigorous’ intake process.

“Our heart goes out to the child who has suffered so badly and will need help way beyond the two years the offender will be with Cedar Cottage,” she said.

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