Scout Leader Sent to Prison For Child Sexual Offences

by Sonia Hickey & Ugur Nedim

A former New South Wales scout leader has been given a full term of more than 31 years in prison after pleading guilty to 12 child sexual assault offences, including one count of sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years of age, between 1985 and 2007.

Mario Henry Aliverti, 61 was in leadership roles with the in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a Scouts group in southwest Sydney. He preyed on six of the boys in that time, aged between seven and 15 at the time of the offending.

He later gained access to another three boys outside of the organisation between 1993 and 2007, with the victims reporting complaints to police from 2016 to 2018.

He appeared via video link from Long Bay Correctional Centre and some of his victims also joined in the online sentencing hearing, as Judge Jane Culver ordered a prison sentence of 31 years and six months with a non-parole period of 21 years.

His sentence was reduced by 10 percent because of his guilty plea.

While delivering the sentence, her Honour remarked:

“He will serve his sentence as an older man … (but) each victim lives with the trauma every day and, for them, his offending is not stale.”

Sexual intercourse with a child between 14 and 16 years

Sexual Intercourse with a child between 14 and 16 years of age is an offence under section 66C(3) of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with a child aged between 14 and 16, and
  2. You knew or were reckless as to the age of the child, or

You had no reasonable grounds to believe the child was under the age of consent, which is 16 years of age in NSW.

The offence applies whether or not express or implied consent was given.

‘Sexual intercourse’ is defined as:

  1. The penetration to any extent of a female’s genitalia, or the anus of any person, by any part of, or object used by, another person, or
  1. The introduction of a penis into the mouth of another person, or
  2. Cunnilingus, or
  3. The continuation of any of these activities.

Duress is a defence to the charge.

Sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14 years of age

Sexual Intercourse with a child between 10 and 14 years of age is an offence under section 66C(1) of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of 16 years in prison

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14, and
  2. You knew or were reckless as to whether the child was that age, or

You had no reasonable grounds to believe the child was that age

Again, the offence applies whether or not express or implied consent was given.

Duress is also a defence to this charge.

Sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 years

Sexual Intercourse with a child under 10 years of age is an offence under section 66A of the Crimes Act 1900 which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You had sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10, and
  2. You knew or were reckless as to whether the child was under 10, or you had no reasonable grounds to believe the child was over 10

Life in prison means ‘for the term of the person’s natural life’.

Again, the offence applies whether or not express or implied consent was given, and duress is a legal defence.

Registration as a Child Sex Offender

The NSW Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 states that anyone convicted of a child sex offence, such as sexual assault or child pornography, whether in NSW or another jurisdiction, is required to register on the NSW child protection register, and advise authorities if any details change.  The register records information including:

  • Name/s and aliases
  • Address information – residential living arrangements and postal address
  • Employment details
  • Date of birth
  • Vehicle information including registration details
  • Details of your offences
  • Details of any tattoos or other distinguishing marks
  • Names and information about any children the offender lives with
  • Names and details of memberships with any organisations – particularly those which also have child members or affiliations with children.
  • Internet Service Provider, type of internet connection, and telephone provider
  • DNA profile, as well as fingerprints and photographs

Offenders are required to update information annually, or within 14 days if any circumstances change, such as buying a new car, moving home, or changing employment.  A judge determines how many years an offender must report for – in some severe cases, it can be mandated for life.

The information on the child protection register is not available to the public, but is shared amongst relevant government agencies.

Tough laws

In 2017 the Federal government has announced tough new laws for sex-offenders – purported to be the harshest since the establishment of the Criminal Code Act in 1995.

The proposed legislation, called Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Crimes Against Children and Community Protection Measures) Bill, will make it more difficult for alleged child sex offenders to be granted bail, and ensure those who are convicted face longer prison sentences and find it harder to achieve parole.

Overseas travel ban

In the same year, the Federal government made it illegal for a range of child sex offenders to travel abroad without the express permission of the government – which will is be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Authors

Sonia Hickey

Sonia Hickey is a freelance writer, magazine journalist and owner of 'Woman with Words'. She has a strong interest in social justice, and is a member of the Sydney Criminal Lawyers® content team.

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with over 20 years of experience as a criminal defence lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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