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Prolific sex exploiter resumes work with children

7 August 2012

Prolific sex exploiter resumes work with children

The “prominent” Manawatu man who was convicted in 2010 for downloading 290,000 objectionable images, mainly of young girls, has moved to Auckland and is back working in his profession where he has direct access to children including young girls. The man is working under his middle name.

The decision to grant the man permanent name suppression including details of his profession came under fire from Stop Demand Foundation, a group working to stop sexual exploitation, amidst public outcry.

Despite facing a hefty term of imprisonment, the man was sentenced to a paltry four months’ home detention by Palmerston North District Court Judge Grant Fraser.

Stop Demand’s founder, Denise Ritchie, says “The fact this offender has moved cities and has resumed work in a field that allows him direct physical access to girls is deeply concerning. Putting the private interests of a ‘prominent’ offender ahead of the need for openness of justice is not only elitist; it will often have an ongoing, real-life impact. In this case, the offender’s right to ongoing anonymity allows him to operate in a shroud of secrecy and denies parents and caregivers their right to give informed consent to allowing this man physical access to children, in particular girls – which he now has.”

The man’s professional governing body, who conducted a disciplinary hearing, is also under fire from Stop Demand. “Given the extent of this offender’s participation in, and fuelling of, the global sexual exploitation of children, the incalculable damage to countless child victims, and his extensive breaches of his professional standards, he should have been struck off,” says Ms Ritchie. “The fact he was not struck off raises serious questions of his governing body. Even more astonishing is that it imposed no restrictions on his future working with children, in particular girls.”

A common myth that such offenders generally do not pose a risk to children in real life is dangerous. Denise Ritchie says, “Neurological evidence shows that prolonged pairings of images with our most intense positive reinforcer - sexual arousal and orgasm - imprints itself onto a viewer’s neural pathways. In this man’s case, his masturbatory sexual arousal triggers were young girls. Reinforcement of his triggers was compulsive, prolonged and prolific – evidenced by his amassing over a quarter of a million illegal images.”

The man’s governing body heard that without medication and therapy to keep the man’s “urges” in check, there was “a considerable chance” of the man re-offending.


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