This is disgusting! The State Government is fighting to overturn a Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) decision to allow a convicted pervert to be granted a working with children permit.
Minister for Families and Children, Jenny Mikakos, confirmed the head of the Department of Justice was “attempting to fix the issue” after it was revealed in the Herald Sun today.
It was revealed DXP — as he is identified in the tribunal finding — was given the green light by VCAT to open a childcare centre.
The man was found guilty of wilfully and obscenely exposing himself on five separate occasions between 1982 and 1997.
He has also exposed himself and masturbated in front of two 16-year-old schoolgirls after pulling alongside them in a hired car.
Police records say when he was aged in his mid-30s, he initially drove past the girls, smiled and stared at them and then performed a U-turn before stopping.
As the victims walked away, DXP called out to them: “Did you enjoy that? Did you have a good look, girls?”
In 2014 the Department of Justice and Regulation rejected DXP’s application for a permit to work with children so he could begin a childcare business and take part in door-to-door religious activities.
DXP, now aged in his 50s, appealed to VCAT, and won.
Ms Mikakos said the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Regulation was now seeking leave to appeal the VCAT decision to the Supreme Court.
“For this reason it would be inappropriate to comment around the issue with the working with children matter any further,” she said.
Earlier this year, VCAT heard from two character witnesses who were both taken aback when confronted with details of DXP’s offending.
DXP agreed his offending was extremely serious but emphasised that it was not directed towards children, as his victims were randomly chosen.
He told VCAT he was the victim of sexual abuse and racial taunting when young and had been traumatised after being present when a person drowned.
Since completing a sex offender program, DXP said he had learnt strategies to prevent reoffending and had also had regular sessions with psychiatrist Peter McArdle for many years.
Dr McArdle told VCAT he did not consider DXP was a threat to children and that he was taking appropriate medication to deal with anxiety and depression.
VCAT deputy president Heather Lambrick said it was of “grave concern” that DXP’s offending spanned many years from his teens to his adult life but, given the time since his last offence, she considered him rehabilitated and the chances of reoffending low.
The Department emphasised that there was no particular need for DXP to open a child care centre but Ms Lambrick said it was in the public interest that a rehabilitated person be able to engage in the community to their fullest capacity.
“It is uncertain whether DXP will continue in his endeavours to be involved in the running of a childcare centre. He does, however, wish to engage in religious activities, which require him to speak with people on a door-to-door basis and for which I accept he requires an Assessment Notice,” Ms Lambrick said.
“In circumstances were I am persuaded that he no longer poses a threat to children, it is in the public interest that he be able to do so.”
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