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Sisters sue over abuse by foster boy in Cairns

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on Mon, 07/30/2012 - 08:06
Fight Child Protection Department Corruption: 

Pat Anderson (Pictured) manager Department of Child Safety Cairns North has constantly been involved in accusations of corruption, abuse and neglect of children causing death and devastation to children in the care of her DoCS office. These DoCS managers literally get away with murder and child abuse yet no one will stand up for these children.

THREE sisters are suing the Queensland government for $1m after they were sexually abused by a rapist placed in their home as a foster child.

According to documents filed in the Cairns District Court, a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy from a remote Cape York community was placed in the care of a Cairns family by the Department of Child Safety in December 2005.

At the time, he was being prosecuted in the Children's Court after pleading guilty to raping a three-year-old girl, the daughter of his previous foster parents.

The statement of claim alleges the department took "no, or no sufficient, action" to ensure the mother of the three girls understood the risk the boy would pose to her daughters.

Over the course of several months, the boy repeatedly abused the older sisters, then aged 17 and 16. He would sneak into their bedrooms at night, touch their genitals and masturbate in front of them.

He abused the youngest girl, then aged 14, once.

In the Children's Court of Queensland in Cairns, in October 2008, the boy, then aged 17, pleaded guilty to 14 sex offences relating to the abuse of the three girls.

District Court judge Sarah Bradley sentenced him to two years' probation.

When the girls' grandmother started to agitate for compensation from the state government, in part to pay for the girls' spiralling medical bills, they were allegedly offered meagre settlements.

The youngest, now 18, says she was offered $3000.

The three sisters are now suing the state government, demanding compensation of nearly $1m to pay for lost earnings, medical bills and general damages.

Their statement of claim says the Department of Child Safety "knew or ought to have known" that: "Because of his sexualised behaviours, the foster child was likely to sexually assault, or attempt to sexually assault and behave in an indecent matter towards each of the (girls), if he were placed into foster care with the (girls') parents".

The claim says the girls were "frightened and terrified" by the boy's abuse and sustained psychiatric or psychological injuries as a result of his actions.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the abuse, the youngest sister told The Australian the abuse had torn her family apart.

"It has ruined my life and my family's life as well," she said. "It was just wrong that they put a child molester in the same house as three girls under the age of 18."

She said she was unemployed, unable to get a job and too frightened to go to crowded places without her grandmother.

"I used to have plenty of friends, I had my life all planned out," she said, of her desire to become a barrister.

A spokesman for the department, now known as Department of Communities, declined to comment on the specifics of the case as the matter was before the court. However, he confirmed the department would defend the claims made against it.

  • From: The Australian