Taxpayers paying to fix penile erection problems of jailed rapist

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Washington, Dec 12 (ANI): It has emerged that taxpayers' money will be used to help fix the penile erection problems of a jailed rapist who was part of Ivan Milat's gang.

The decision by the New South Wales State Government's Justice Health Department to help John Powch, 62, who is known by Corrective Services officers as a "serious sex offender", has sparked outrage among victims.

Powch was put behind bars for three counts of sexual assault, for which he was jailed in 2004 for nine years, four months.

According to sources, he has never admitted his crimes, believed to be against one woman, and has steadfastly refused to do any of the sex offenders courses in Long Bay jail where he is being held.

However, on November 23, prison guards escorted him to the Prince of Wales Hospital's urology theatre for an "on table erection test".

Justice Health, which caters to prisoners' medical needs and is controlled by NSW Health, refused to comment on Powch's case.

However, a spokesman said the department "does not take offending history into consideration when providing health services".

"An on table erection test is usually done for investigations of penile curvature or other disorders related to penile erectile dysfunctions, which, in itself, is not a life-threatening condition," the Herald Sun quoted a Sydney urologist, who asked not to be named, as saying.

Howard Brown, from the Victims of Crime Assistance League, said the treatment was "incredible".

"I don't object to us paying for life-threatening surgery if required but I'll be stuffed if we should be paying because his waterworks are having problems; particularly when you take into consideration the crime for which he is inside," he stated.

"This is not life-threatening. This bloke should have been a candidate for chemical castration while he was in (theatre)," he added.

Powch, a hardened criminal who has been behind bars most of his adult life, is in jail until October 19, 2013.

He was named one of NSW's 10 most wanted criminals after escaping from Cessnock jail in 1980, during which time he robbed banks.

In the 1970s, Powch was involved in armed hold-ups with Ivan Milat, who was cleared of the charges but went on to become a serial killer.

By the mid-1980s, Powch was the right-hand man for major drug importer David Kelleher and jailed in 1985 for 18 years for conspiring to import heroin. (ANI)

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