COMMENT: Maurice Van Ryn's demands of victims abhorrent

Yet again we awake to news so incomprehensible it makes you feel ill.

Confessed and convicted child abuser Maurice Van Ryn. File photo

Confessed and convicted child abuser Maurice Van Ryn. File photo

Having already plumbed the depths of human depravity with his abhorrent crimes, now Maurice Van Ryn is diving even further.

It’s hard to fathom that was even possible.

However, the news Monday morning was that Van Ryn intends to exact further torment on his victims and their families by demanding they prove they are damaged if seeking compensation – through medical examinations and cross-examination in court.

How dare you. Have you such little regard for another person’s life and mental wellbeing? That you would demand of a child they publicly relive the horrific experiences you admit to forcing upon them?

They have already proven strong enough to speak out on your crimes, and you at least had the decency – term used loosely – to plead guilty and save them the anguish of sitting through a lengthy trial.

But now you bring it back to a matter of money and what can only be seen as your ignorance of how your abuses affected – and continue to affect – others.

That such a move on Van Ryn’s part is even considered lawful is surely a blight on our justice system.

Yet again, it is the victims of crime who seemingly must  take the stand to prove they are due justice and respect, rather than being a tool for an offender to manipulate for their own ends.

It is particularly the case for crimes of a sexual nature.

Any wonder there remains a culture of victim blaming and shaming when even the court system can allow for an admitted guilty multiple offender to make demands of his victims from behind bars.

Who is supported by our established systems the most in this scenario?

These children deserve a long, happy and healthy life, free from the horrors enacted by this predator. And free from any further trauma that could result from having to relive his abuses while sitting in the witness dock.

In reporting these matters, we continue to feel for the victims and their families who see their abuser again as front page news – both here in the Valley and in Sydney. Although credit where credit’s due for the metro’s front page headline “Deal with the Devil”. 

Let’s hope this dark chapter is put to an end sooner rather than later.


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