Feature

Australia: Where sex offenders go ‘incognito’

I outed two “notorious sex offenders”—and for that I am considered a criminal, said Derryn Hinch in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Derryn Hinch
The Sydney Morning Herald

I outed two “notorious sex offenders”—and for that I am considered a criminal, said Derryn Hinch. Three years ago I held a “Name Them and Shame Them” rally on the steps of Victoria’s Parliament House in Melbourne to protest the ridiculous state law that allows serial rapists, even those who rape children, to have their names shielded from the public. The idea is that such offenders are at risk of vigilante attacks.

Yet these suppression orders, as they’re called, are obviously “designed more with the well-being of rapists and pedophiles in mind than their victims or future victims.” People who have committed some of the most heinous crimes imaginable can “return to the community incognito” and install themselves “next to your kids’ school or your local park.”

For my crime of outing two of these men, I have been convicted of five counts of “breaches of the suppression order.” Last week, I lost my final appeal and could now be facing five years in prison. Still, I don’t feel that I’ve entirely lost, since the trial brought attention to the unfairness of the law. “And I am damn sure that at least judges will no longer sprinkle these orders around like confetti.”

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