Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Orkopoulos predator gets 9 years

Eligible for parole in 2017: Predator Milton Orkopoulos

Former NSW frontbencher Milton Orkopoulos has been sentenced to a minimum of nine years and three months in jail.

In the Newcastle District Court today, Judge Ralph Coolahan set a maximum jail term of 13 years and 11 months for the former Aboriginal affairs minister.

His 30 child sex and drug charge crimes were "premeditated, predatory and manipulative" with far reaching impacts, said the judge.

Sporting grey stubble and struggling to keep his eyes open, the 50-year-old former Aboriginal affairs minister was pale as he took his seat in the dock.

All three of his victims and a number of their family and friends were present in court to learn the former MP's fate.

A number of Orkopoulos' family members also sat in the public gallery.

Judge Ralph Coolahan spent more than an hour detailing the MP's crimes which date between 1995 and 2006 and involved the grooming of three young boys with drugs and alcohol in exchange for sex.

He said Orkopoulos used his position of authority and power to win the trust of his victims and introduced one to heroin, an act which he described as "a very serious offence".

"His conduct was premeditated, predatory and manipulative with far reaching impacts," Judge Coolahan told the court.

"The offender was frequently arrogant and often flippant in his evidence and made a number of claims which were patently false."

The judge said significant periods of fulltime imprisonment were the only appropriate sentences for such serious crimes.

Ensuring Orkopoulos was adequately punished, the community was protected and and his actions denounced by way of general deterrence were more important considerations than his rehabilitation, the judge said.

The judge said the crimes of former NSW frontbencher Milton Orkopoulos, were "premeditated, predatory and manipulative" with far reaching impacts.

Updated: 7:46 am (AEST) May 22

There's more to scandal, Orkopoulus family say

THE family of convicted paedophile Milton Orkopoulos last night broke their silence saying there was more to the scandal than had so far been revealed.

Orkopoulos's mother Stamata and brother George Orkopoulos spoke exclusively to The Daily Telegraph just hours after the sentence was handed down in Newcastle District Court.

While maintaining his support for his brother, George Orkopoulos said he believed his brother had suffered at the hands of people motivated by money and greed.

"By all means punish him for what he did that was wrong, absolutely, but there are things he has been convicted of which are just not true," Mr Orkopoulos said.

He claimed there was a lot more to the case that was not revealed throughout the lengthy trial and hoped one day the truth may come to light.

"There are certain people who should hang their heads in shame, and they know who they are," George said.

"I just sincerely hope at some stage the full truth comes out, because at the moment we are a long way from the truth."

He described the behaviour of some Labor MPs as "the height of hypocrisy" in raising money to support Orkopoulos' family, after they voted to freeze his superannuation entitlements.

Labor MPs had been sent a letter asking them to donate money to Orkopoulos's former wife Kathy and daughter Anastasia.

"It is shameful that politicians in Macquarie St, who were so eager to vote in favour of Milton's superannuation being frozen, now passing the hat around ... it's the height of hypocrisy," George said.


Whistleblower rejects payment offer

She has been on stress leave and unable to work since she was locked out of Orkopoulos's office in 2006, after he became aware she was helping police with their investigation into the then Aboriginal affairs minister.

Orkopoulos betrayed me: victim
Sexual abuse victims of former NSW MP Milton Orkopoulos have told a court his attacks were a betrayal of their trust. Orkopoulos appeared in the Newcastle District Court today for a sentencing hearing on 40 child sex and drugs charges. He was convicted in March of 28 offences, after pleading guilty to a further two at the outset of his trial.

The last act of Orkopoulos: skewering the Darkinjung
The murky story of former NSW Aboriginal Affairs Minister Milton Orkopoulos, who is awaiting sentence on 28 sex and drug charges, is becoming murkier. One of his last ministerial decisions was to sign, just before midnight – and seven hours prior to his arrest – an instrument to appoint a handpicked administrator for the Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council on the NSW Central Coast.

Orkopolous whistleblower sues NSW Govt
The aide who blew the whistle on convicted paedophile and former New South Wales Labor minister Milton Orkopolous is suing the State Government, claiming she can never work again.

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