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Australian man sentenced in Sydney for Vietnam child sex abuse.
SENATOR THE HON. CHRISTOPHER ELLISON
Minister for Justice and Customs
Senator for Western Australia
E031/05 23 March 2004
Australian man sentenced in Sydney for Vietnam child sex abuse
A 51-year-old Sydney man has today been sentenced to 18 months gaol after he was found guilty by a Sydney Court of sexually assaulting an eight year old girl in Vietnam.
Gregory Roy Cook was successfully prosecuted under Commonwealth child sex tourism laws which make it an offence for an Australian to commit the crime overseas.
Cook pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual conduct involving a child less than 16 years.
The abused occurred when Cook was on holidays in Danang in July 2003. He approached an 8 year old Vietnamese child in a hotel swimming pool and touched her inappropriately.
The Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Chris Ellison, today welcomed the decision.
“This sentence sends a clear message to Australian paedophiles that they are mistaken if they believe they can commit this awful crime against children overseas and get away with it.
“They will be caught and if necessary brought to justice at home. No decent Australian will tolerate one of our citizens abusing a defenceless child abroad,” he said.
Cook was charged by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team (TSSET) last year.
Senator Ellison said this sentence is the result of the Australian Government’s commitment to take all steps possible to combat paedophilia.
“The priority for Australian authorities is to help their overseas counterparts secure prosecutions in the jurisdiction where offences occur. However, in the event that this is not possible, the AFP uses extraterritorial child sex tourism legislation to charge Australians in relation to their activities overseas,” he said.
13 Australians have been charged in relation to paedophilia activities overseas. This is in addition to a large number of prosecutions secured overseas where the AFP has assisted the relevant authorities.
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