Former senior bureaucrat Frank Valentine sentenced to 22 years jail

“A former senior Hunter Department of Youth and Community Services manager has been sentenced to 22 years jail for serious child sex offences against six vulnerable teenagers.

Frank Valentine, 78, used his position of authority to sexually abuse teenagers at government youth facilities over a three year period in the 1970s.

His victims were inmates at state detention facilities who were unable to remove themselves from the institution or Valentine, who held one of the most senior positions at each institution where the offending occurred, Sydney District Court Judge Nicole Norman said before sentencing Valentine on Friday.

Valentine was found guilty of sexually abusing a girl, 15, who was pregnant, and who vomited after one of the incidents.

He was found guilty of sexually abusing another teenage girl in a part of a state institution called the dungeon, where he held the teen for three days and repeatedly sexually abused her.”

Read the Judge’s sentencing remarks in full

From those sentencing remarks: “It is important that sentences passed for serious sexual assault crimes committed on children, even older children, recognise the harm done to the victim of the crime. This has been a sentencing imperative. It is now a statutory requirement for specified offences. I had the opportunity to observe the victims, some of whom gave their evidence in the court room. The impact of such offending upon victims is well understood and accepted even without supportive evidence. It is difficult is isolate and attribute the harm occasioned by this offending in appreciation that each of the victims had other life experiences that could have contributed to subsequent difficulties. A number of the victims appeared emotionally vulnerable. I accept that each victim was without doubt adversely affected by the offences. Even after more than 40 years, the deleterious impact of discussing the events upon the victims was discernible during evidence”

This article has been partially republished from the Newcastle Herald, written by Joanne McCarthy.