A woman who fell pregnant and miscarried at age 11 after being raped by a paedophile former policeman is fighting to name her abuser.
Despite facing the serial child sex predator in court, Tracey May is unable to expose his identity due to a suppression order dating back to 2012.
A review of Victoria’s legal system last year found adult victims of sexual assault should be able to identify their attackers after conviction, but Ms May still cannot speak out.
Despite facing the serial child sex predator in court, Tracey May (pictured) still cannot expose him, due to a suppression order dating back to 2012
The non-publication order, made when Ms May’s abuser’s court proceedings began, has no end date and no explanation for why it was put in place.
Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen said the order was made before the Open Courts Act was passed in 2013, which placed a five-year limit on suppression orders.
The act was passed to improve transparency in the state’s justice system, but hundreds of orders are still issued every year, including blanket reporting bans.
Ms May said the man who raped her is being protected by the suppression order, which means she can’t go public with his name – despite the fact he was found guilty.
‘I faced him in court and I wasn’t afraid for the first time in my life. And then to be told I couldn’t speak his name,’ she told The Age.
Her abuser, a former police officer with more than a dozen victims, raped nine children as young as five over an 18-year period to 1985.
One boy was brutalised in the back of a police van, while another was attacked at a police station.
After being reported by a parent in 1979, he left Victoria Police and moved north, attacking seven more children in New South Wales.
A woman who fell pregnant and miscarried after being raped by a paedophile former policeman as an 11-year-old is fighting to name her abuser (stock image)
Senator Derryn Hinch named the man, who was sentenced to 15 years’ jail in 2016, using parliamentary privilege last year, but he cannot be named by the media.
Ms May said she will keep fighting to name the man, and refuses to be silenced after being made to feel ashamed as a child.
‘I’ll keep fighting to name him. I’ve had my voice taken away from me for so long, it’s time I speak up,’ she said.
Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies said although suppression orders are often put in place to protect victims, victims themselves are not being consulted.
‘If a victim wants to go and make mention of what happened to them … because they want to prevent what happened to them from happening to someone else, and they can’t, then the victim is being further victimised by the court process,’ he said.
The majority of the country’s suppression orders are taken out in Victoria, and a 2017 review by former Court of Appeal judge Frank Vincent found 12 per cent of the 1594 orders made from 2014 to 2016 gave no grounds for suppression.
Blanket bans made up another 22 per cent, and did not specify what should be suppressed.
Chief Magistrate Lauritsen said suppression orders were a vital part of the justice system, and all parties had the right to appeal.