Trial of Australian Politician Opens, Indicted for Child Sex and Drug Abuse

by Medindia Content Team on  February 20, 2008 at 6:31 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News   - G J E 4
Trial of Australian Politician Opens, Indicted for Child Sex and Drug Abuse
The high profile case of a former minister of the New South Wales state in Australia, Milton Orkopoulos, has got underway in a New Castle court. Ever sleazier details are emerging every day.

The charges against the 50-year-old Milton Orkopoulos, once in charge of Aboriginal Affairs, relate to crimes allegedly committed between 1997 and 2005 and include:

• six counts of homosexual intercourse involving boys aged between 10 and 18 years

• 12 counts of supplying a prohibited drug

• two counts of sexual assault without consent

• three counts of aggravated indecent assault

• four counts of procuring by drug for prostitution

• one count of indecent assault

• one count of act of indecency

• one count of engaging in an act of child prostitution

On Tuesday the court was told that the now disgraced Labour politician had used drugs to 'lure and trap' young boys into having sex with him.

The jury was also read a graphic short story the next day, detailing sex acts between a man and two boys, that was discovered under the mattress of Orkopoulos.

It took more than an hour for the story to be read to the jury, with a number of the panel clearly uncomfortable with its contents.

Orkopoulos himself winced in the dock, at one stage closing his eyes and yawning as the story detailed a man's sex acts with boys aged 12 and 16.

The former minister pleaded guilty to one count of supplying cannabis and another of possessing child pornography but pleaded not guilty to remaining 34 offences.

Crown Prosecutor Helen Wilson told the court Orkopoulos met his first victim through the Labor party in 1995 and won his trust by supplying him with alcohol, cannabis, and encouraging him to speak about his problems.

In November 2006, New South Wales Premier Morris Iemma sacked him as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister Assisting the Premier on Citizenship after he was charged with child sex and other offences.

The following week, he resigned as MP.  In March 1999, he was elected to represent Swansea in the Legislative Assembly for Labor. In August 2005 he was promoted to the front bench, serving in the generally low-profile portfolios of Aboriginal Affairs and Citizenship.

One of his victims, now 24, told police Orkopoulos supplied him with cannabis on two occasions before the first alleged sexual assault.
When the boy was 18, Orkopoulos was paying him about $250 per week to have sex with him, according to the police facts.

'These payments were made with government funds allocated to the accused each month for the Swansea electorate,' the police charged.

The alleged victim also told police he became reliant on the payments because of his addiction to cannabis, which began about a year after he met Orkopoulos.

The alleged victim and Orkopoulos smoked cannabis together over a period of seven or eight years, the police said.

Police allege Orkopoulos supplied the teenager with cannabis to relax him before they had sex.

The court documents also said Orkopoulos occasionally supplied amphetamines to the alleged victim, whose drug addiction meant he was unable to hold down a job or support himself financially.

The alleged victim said he met with Orkopoulos twice a week for a period of seven or eight years.

The police fact sheet alleged the second victim had been 16, and in the company of his grandmother, when he met Orkopoulos at a Christmas party in November 2003.

About two months later, he accompanied Orkopoulos to the Labour party's national conference in Sydney and they shared a hotel room for two nights.

The boy alleged the pair smoked marijuana together during that trip. He also told police that during the second night of their stay, Orkopoulos allegedly told him that he had anal sex with other men.

The facts state Orkopoulos told the boy: 'I'd love to have you,' and when the boy flinched, he added: 'You're not ready son, are you?' before leaving the room.

The boy reported the incident to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in August this year, and the matter was referred on to police.

According to media reports, Orkopoulos had been the subject of speculation among party members for up to nine years before the arrest. More concrete allegations against the politician surfaced in October 2005, but were not pursued by the party at the time.

Source: Medindia

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