Melbourne, Oct 12 (ANI): An Australian man, who sexually abused six girls, four of whom were his daughters and two that he had raised as his own, has been sentenced to do just 17 years of jail time.
Townsville District Court was told the man, 53, who cannot be named, as it would identify his victims, was guilty of six counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child.dded to it was sexual assault, four counts of rape and four counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 years against six girls over a period of about 17 years.
According to the Townsville Bulletin, the abuse continued for several years and had started from when they were as young as three to 14 years of age.
The matter came to light when one of the girls complained in January 2008 to her other sisters, who had all been sworn to secrecy. It left them shocked to find out that they had all been abused.
Judge Stuart Durward described the man's crimes as "heinous" and "emotional brutality", given his systematic abuse over the years and his threats that the family would be separated if any of the girls ever spoke about "their little secret".
"That any man could subject his daughters to such abuse defies rational understanding or explanation," News.com.au quoted Judge Durward as saying.
"Each of the complainants have been deprived of the joy of a truly loving and emotionally and physically secure childhood," he stated.
Judge Durward said once one girl reached her teenage years and stood up to her father, he would stop and then target his sexual deviance towards the next eldest daughter and so the cycle would continue.
The judge read to the court a quote from one of the daughters about the effects the abuse had on her mental well-being.
"In 2006 when I was in Normanton, I started cutting myself with a razor blade on my wrists. The only way I can describe it is that I'd rather have the pain on my wrists than in my heart," one daughter wrote.
Another daughter said in her victim impact statement she felt like her father "stole our innocence".
"If I pretended it didn't happen, then I could be normal just like other kids at school. My childhood was miserable. I never had peace in my life. I was always living in fear," she wrote.
A third daughter wrote when she was young, she thought the abuse was normal because her father told her it was called "making love".
"I used to wonder if this happened to my friends at school too," she stated.
Judge Durward classified the man as a serious violent offender, meaning he will be required to spend at least 80 percent of his sentence behind bars. (ANI)