Media Release

30 November 2011

When a powerful former public figure walks free after having sex with a 12 year old girl, there is something terribly wrong with our criminal justice system, according to the Australian Christian Lobby.

“The legal system’s ability to rationalise away even the most heinous abuse of a young girl to blame factors other than the perpetrator shows a disturbing departure from the essentials of civil society and child protection,” the ACL’s Tasmanian Director Mark Brown said today.

“For the protection of girls and children there must be severe consequences for men who abuse them.

“The excuse ‘the medication made me do it’ represents an unacceptable watering down of a meaningful deterrent.”

Mr Brown was referring to yesterday’s decision in the Supreme Court in Hobart to free former MLC Terry Martin, who even escaped having his name recorded on a sex offender register.

“The sexualisation of our culture has caused us to lose a proportional sense of outrage and perspective on the necessary morality for the functioning of a civil society,” Mr Brown said.

“Further normalising the purchasing of women by men through legalising brothels should also be a wake-up call and should be strongly resisted by our State Government,” Mr Brown said.

“Yesterday’s decision should cause all Tasmanians to take stock of the consequences of the failure of moral leadership in our State.”