Posted on August 9th, 2013
The term ‘sexual predator’ is often used to describe a person seen as obtaining or trying to obtain sexual contact with another person in a metaphorically ‘predatory’ manner – hunting down its prey or sex partner.
Judge Nigel Peters along with prosecuting Barrister Robert Colover descried a 13 year old abuse victim in such a manner, with the Judge even commenting that ‘she looked a little bit older’. The adult perpetrator of the abuse, a 41 year old Nigel Wilson received an eight month suspended sentence and then walked free from Court.
The abused young girl left Court after being labelled as ‘sexually experienced’. I wonder how this conclusion was reached. How does a child become ‘sexually experienced’ compared to the acquired experience of a 41 year old man? Did Mr Colover not consider that ‘if’ she was behaving in a manner that led him to deduce she was sexually experienced in all likelihood her childhood had already been exposed to sexual content beyond her years thus making it likely that she was vulnerable and in need of increased protection from an adult male?
How old did Judge Peters think this child looked? And did he not think that her behaviour and level of maturity might indicate that she was a young girl only just into her teens? This child visited the perpetrators home where he abused his position of power and trust to make extreme pornographic images of her, with the potential to share with other likeminded individuals thus increasing the risk of further abuse.
The Judge described the child as ‘egging on Mr Wilson’. Reportedly the child arrived at Mr Wilson’s house in her school uniform. Was this not a clue to Mr Wilson that the girl was a minor and should have not gained entry into his home without even considering whether he should be taking inappropriate photographs?
How did the Judge reach the conclusion that a 13 year old girl egged on an adult male? This finding clearly places all the blame on to the child, who will also be burdened with being sexually abused and without doubt emotionally abused by an adult male.
How does this child start to heal when she is being seen as the instigator? Any therapy offered would need to deal with her experience of sexual abuse and now the opinions of a Judge and Barrister who blame her for triggering the abuse. There is no doubt the legal system has further abused a child in this case. The additional devastating impact of this case is that it will cause other child victims of abuse to not disclose for fear that they are also considered responsible for their abuse and labelled perpetrators.