'Helltown' author jailed for child sex offences

Criminologist Paul Wilson has been jailed for historic child sex offences.
Criminologist Paul Wilson has been jailed for historic child sex offences. Contributed

A CRIMINOLOGIST who wrote a Penthouse article calling Gympie a "Helltown" has been jailed for child sexual abuse.

A jury found Paul Richard Wilson, 75, guilty at the Brisbane District Court on Wednesday of four counts of indecent treatment of a child that occurred in the 1970s.

The girl was aged between eight and 11 and Wilson in his mid-30s when the offending occurred.

On one occasion Wilson tapped his penis on the girl's vagina when they naked in bed together. At a different time he held a cat over his exposed penis and invited the girl to stroke it.

Defence barrister Peter Davis had urged Judge Julie Dick to release Wilson without a jail sentence.

The court heard Wilson had to be sentenced to Queensland's laws in the 1970s when the offences occurred. Mr Davis said that would mean a lesser sentence than if Wilson had committed the same offence today.

He said the weaker laws in the 1970s, Wilson's contribution to society over the past 40 years, and his "public fall from grace" justified him not being sent to jail.

But Judge Dick sentenced Wilson to 18 months prison, to be suspended after he has served six months.

In 1998 Wilson wrote an article for Penthouse magazine calling Gympie a Helltown and "Queensland's murder capital". The article included offences that occurred up to 130km from Gympie.

Judge Dick said due to his high profile Wilson had suffered a "public disgrace" for his offending. She said he had otherwise led a productive life and assisted the community.

But she said Wilson's offending warranted a jail sentence even under earlier laws.

"The four offences show a persistent offending and a corruption of the child," she said.

Judge Dick said she believed Wilson had "rehabilitated" in the four decades since the offending.

The Helltown article prompted community outrage when it was released.

In the article Wilson said Gympie was "full of hypocrisy, sexual violence, fear, drugs, murder, incest, pack rape, economic stagnation and rabid right-wing gun fanatics" and that "fathers who rape their daughters are let off with a warning".


Topics:  brisbane district court child sex abuse

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