It seems extra time will almost certainly be added to the sentence currently being served by convicted Bega Valley paedophile Maurice Van Ryn.
With the former dairy industry boss watching on via an audio-visual link from prison, Judge Sean Grant heard submissions from the Crown and defence teams this morning in Bega District Court.
Key to Judge Grant’s final decision, which will be delivered on May 10, is the written victim’s impact statement that was handed to his honour in court.
The victim who now lives interstate did not want his words to be read in open court or be released as part of the public record.
Strong measures remain in place around protecting his identity, the identity of earlier victims and the location where many of the offenses took place.
Van Ryn pleaded guilty in March this year to four charges of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person aged between 14 and 16 years, crimes that carry a maximum penalty of 12 to 25 years in jail.
The 63-year-old is currently serving 13 years for abusing nine girls and boys in Southern NSW between 2003 and 2014. These new offences took place in 2010 and 2011.
Upsetting detail emerged in court today around what the victim experienced and has been living with for some time.
Judge Grant discussed Van Ryn’s use of money, alcohol and his home to exploit the child, behaviour that lead to anal and oral sex.
Van Ryn appeared attentive during the hearing; wearing prison greens he largely sat in silence but looked tired.
Without going into detail, his defence team referred to pressure within the jail system that is being placed on Mr Van Ryn, stirred up and informed by ongoing media interest.
They also argued that had this victim come forward earlier and the assaults against him considered as part of the original sentence then Mr Van Ryn’s current imprisonment would most likely have been seen as a suitable punishment.
A spokesperson for the previous victims says he is pleased with how Judge Grant is proceeding.
“It sounds like he [Judge Grant] is of a mind that he wants to give extra time on top of what Van Ryn is currently serving,” the spokesperson says.
“There are very good reasons why this victim did not come forward earlier. And I seem to recall Van Ryn saying there were no further victims, he should be punished for failing to disclose that there were further victims.”
Given that the victim’s impact statement in this matter won’t be publically released, the full impact on this man will most likely never be known widely.
“These are the things that are the basis of our very soul and wellbeing as people,” the spokesperson says.
“And it’s been damaged and in some cases destroyed in victims.”
Sentencing will be determined in Bega District Court at 10 am on Friday, May 10.