February 12th 2005

  Buy Issue 2700

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: Kim Beazley - Labor's only hope?

EDITORIAL: Barking up the wrong tree ...

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: Top free-market think-tank warns of 'banana republic'

SPECIAL FEATURE: Who speaks and acts for the communist dead?

BUSHFIRES: COAG inquiry skirts the real issues

VICTORIA: Judge links pornography and sexual assault

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Iraq election and the problem of Iran / Bushrangers hanging around the hospitals / Climbing the ladder to nowhere

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: US trade deals marginalise WTO

EAST ASIA: US's new strategy in the Far East

CHINA-TAIWAN RELATIONS: First direct flights from Taiwan to mainland

OPINION: Good riddance to compulsory student unionism

The slaughtered generation (letter)

The Governor-General and the Constitution (letter)

CINEMA: Quality French film wins following - Les Choristes


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Judge links pornography and sexual assault

by Peter Westmore

News Weekly, February 12, 2005
In sentencing a man to imprisonment for 26 years for burglary, false imprisonment and rape, a Victorian County Court judge last December referred to the role which pornography may have played in the attacks on a young woman.

Significantly, the perpetrator had no previous convictions for rape or assault.

Judge Hart said that the premeditated offences were of "the like of which I have not seen or heard".

He told the defendant, "... your possession of violent pornographic videos and sexual paraphernalia may well be reflected in your offending although you deny it.

"It is not at all unusual for a judge sentencing sexual offenders to find that such videos and paraphernalia have or may have played a role in the offending.

"Indeed, this is the second time this very week that that has been the case in my court alone.

"Drawing attention to this seems to make no difference but I will persist.

Liberties and freedom

"I find it hard to believe that if violent pornographic videos, bondage kits and the like were banned and their dissemination prevented, individual liberties and freedom would be seriously curtailed or diminished, or that the fabric of society would unravel.

"What it might do is diminish the incidents of sexual assault, and I know of two victims this very week alone who might have been spared."

Judge Hart sentenced the man to a non-parole period of 20 years, and an accomplice, who did not participate in the rape of the woman, to 11 years in prison, with an eight-year non-parole period.

  • Peter Westmore

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