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Orkopolous found guilty -

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Orkopolous found guilty

The World Today - Friday, 14 March , 2008 12:30:00

Reporter: Rebecca Barrett

ELEANOR HALL: The jury in the case against the former New South Wales Aboriginal Affairs minister,
Milton Orkopoulos, has delivered a verdict.

Milton Orkopoulos was facing 30 charges, including that he used government money to pay for sex.
Earlier this week, the judge advised the jury to disregard one child sex charge because of a lack
of evidence.

Rebecca Barrett is at the District Court in Newcastle and she joins us now.

So, Rebecca there were 30 charges. Has the jury delivered a verdict on all of them?

REBECCA BARRETT: They have Eleanor, they've found Milton Orkopoulos guilty of 28 of the 30 charges
that he was facing. Now these charges relate to three male victims over a 10 year period, dating
back to 1995 and they involved underage child sex, indecent assault and supplying drugs.

ELEANOR HALL: How did Milton Orkopoulos react?

REBECCA BARRETT: Through much of the charges and the guilty verdicts that were read out, the first
guilty verdict that came in relation to sex with a minor without consent, he looked visibly
distressed and shook his head. There was nothing, no words from Milton Orkopoulos that it was clear
that he was quite ashen-faced, particularly as he was led away from the dock at the end and refused
bail, now awaiting sentencing.

ELEANOR HALL: And what is his likely sentence Rebecca?

REBECCA BARRETT: Because there are so many charges, it's difficult to say at this stage but the
most serious charge of having sexual intercourse without consent with a minor could see him in
prison for up to 14 years.

So, at the beginning of the trial he also pleaded guilty to two charges. Both happened when he was
a New South Wales member of Parliament. One relates to supplying cannabis, the other relates to
possessing child pornography.

So, there were actually 30 charges that he will now be sentenced on.

ELEANOR HALL: And were any of his victims in the court?

REBECCA BARRETT: Not that I'm aware of Eleanor, there weren't. The only comment that was made at
the end of the hearing was from the arresting police officer, who basically thanked the
investigators and also thanked the young men involved in the case who came forward to police saying
that without them, this case would never have happened and that Milton Orkopoulos would not have
been brought to justice.

ELEANOR HALL: Rebecca Barrett at the District Court in Newcastle, thank you.