was an LDS church member in Adelaide, Australia; sentenced in 2021 to 10 years in prison for child sexual abuse

Case Summary

FLOODLIT is seeking court documents in this case.

John Doe was an LDS church member in Adelaide, Australia who sexually abused a child for six years.

From the Herald Sun on 2021-02-22:

“Adelaide Mormon admits sexually abusing his daughter in the 1980s and lying to church, wife about it

For decades, this paedophile hid behind his wife and his Mormon faith to avoid justice – now he’s behind bars and his shattered family is picking up the pieces.

An Adelaide member of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, who repeatedly sexually abused his daughter in the 1980’s and lied to his wife and church about it. Picture: NCA

A longstanding Mormon man sexually abused his daughter for six years, then lied to both his wife and his church so they would shield him from the law for almost four decades, a court has heard.

In the District Court on Monday, the man finally ended nearly 40 years of deceit by admitting the full extent of the gross, ongoing abuse of his own child.

His admission only came, however, after his daughter read a victim impact statement admonishing her father’s lack of remorse for his “cunning, calculated” offending.

He had, she said, “entangled” her family and their friends “in a life of lies and deception”, leaving her isolated.

“When I was eight, mum told me she knew what he had done to me and it would never happen again – but that was a lie, it didn’t stop,” she said.

“I felt constantly hunted down by a fox watching its prey and, for years, I believed the only one that had any issue was me.

“I was told it was sorted, I was expected to forgive and forget and so I felt guilty … I grew up feeling like no one cared, like life did not matter, feeling worthless.”

Her supportive mother – who has since separated from the man – wept as she told the court of her “endless” regret.

“The shame and guilt I feel for keeping the secret leaves me feeling like something fundamental inside me has died … I’m not deserving of compassion or understanding,” she said.

“I feel so sorry, ashamed and culpable … no mother should have to stand before her children and recount the reasons for her inaction, based on lies and deceit.”

The man, 69, pleaded guilty to one count of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child, and faces a maximum sentence of life.

He committed his offences in the family home and in a nearby park on numerous occasions between his daughter’s sixth and 12th birthdays.

On Monday, the daughter said the abuse had an ongoing, deleterious impact upon her life, her work and her relationships with her partner and children, as well as “immense” psychological effects.

“I’ve showed respect, I’ve offered love, I’ve suffocated my needs in order to keep my father’s secret, but at what cost? The only person who gains from that is him,” she said.

“I don’t believe my dad has ever told anyone the truth … I don’t see how any man could listen to what he did and not tell the police.

“Never have I seen any sign of remorse, never have I felt he has put my feelings first … Dad has done what he’s always done – nothing.

“But I’ve done something – I found my voice and I’ve let it out.”

Angus Redford, for the man, said his client was no longer “in denial” having heard the statements by his daughter and wife.

“Today was the first time he heard them, they have had quite an effect on him,” he said.

“He acknowledges that, when he disclosed his actions in the late 1980s, he did not disclose the full extent of his actions … he is remorseful.”

He asked the court to show “what mercy it can”, given his client would likely die in prison.

“He owned up to this many, many years ago and has lived with the guilt of that – to a lesser extent than he should have – for a very, very long time,” he said.

Judge Michael Durrant revoked the man’s bail and remanded him in custody for sentencing next month.”

From the Herald Sun on 2021-03-31:

A Mormon man who sexually abused his daughter for six years, then lied to his wife and his church for 40 years, has been jailed for a decade.

The man, who cannot be named in order to protect his daughter’s privacy, showed little emotion as the District Court ordered he serve at least five years before seeking parole.

Judge Michael Durrant said the maximum penalty for the man’s crimes was life imprisonment – showing the severity of his predatory conduct.

“Your daughter trusted you, her biological father, the role model in her home, he said.

“That relationship put you in a position of trust, it reposed in you great responsibility … a father should protect, not harm, his children.

“You breached the trust of your daughter, your wife and other children when you exploited her vulnerability for your own sexual gratification – and you have ripped your family apart.”

The man is a Church of Latter Day Saints member from Adelaide’s northern suburbs. He will spend at least five years in jail.

The man, 69, pleaded guilty to having maintained an unlawful sexual relationship with his daughter in the 1980s, from the time she was six until she turned 12 years old.

The man’s wife learnt of the abuse when the girl was eight, but believed the minimised account he gave of his actions.

That account was also accepted by the church – leaving the girl feeling isolated, betrayed and “entangled in a life of lies and deception”.

“I felt constantly hunted down by a fox watching its prey and, for years, I believed the only one that had any issue was me,” she said in her victim impact statement.

“I was told it was sorted, I was expected to forgive and forget and so I felt guilty … I grew up feeling like no one cared, like life did not matter, feeling worthless.”

Although he pleaded guilty, the man did not admit the full scope of his offending until February this year, finally confessing he had lied to his wife and church.

In sentencing, Judge Durrant said the man had expressed remorse, but had done so very late in sentencing, warranting no more than a 15 per cent sentencing discount.

Though he was satisfied the man had not reoffended since the 1980s, and was unlikely to offend again, he said that in no way lessened the severity of his crimes.

“The maximum penalty exists to protect children such as your daughter from being taken advantage of by men whom they are entitled to trust,” he said.

He backdated the man’s sentence to February, when his bail was revoked.

Mormon Sexual Abuse Map

International map of locations where active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints perpetrated or allegedly perpetrated sexual abuse or other sex crimes, or where LDS leaders failed or allegedly failed to help abuse survivors.