true crime

Father raped and mutilated his daughter while training her to be an Olympian.

Trigger warning: this article contains graphic and distressing details of child sex abuse, rape and violence. 

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported one of the most horrifying cases of sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse ever heard in court.

From the age of five, a mother and a father viciously abused their daughter, all the while covering it with their ambitions of helping her become an Olympian.

The crimes were recounted for the first time in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court, after 14 years of their abuse being kept secret. The father was on trial for 73 child sex offences, and the mother with 16 different charges.

The father, a former athlete, raped his daughter for the first time when the mother was giving birth to another child. The girl was just five.

Over that same year, the father continued sexually and physically abusing her in a shed near the family home.

child sexually abused by their father

For nights on end, the girl would be tied and left in the shed, and when she grew older, she would be locked inside a tiny box. During these periods, she was left unfed and forced to miss school. When her siblings asked where she was, the father would lie saying she was at a friend's house.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the court documents outline that the daughter grew up desperately wanting to please her father, particularly on "special days".

One "special day" was Father's Day, and after bringing him breakfast in bed, the father forced her to perform sexual acts on him.

The abuse continued to become more savage as the girl competed in national sporting events, most often when she did not perform at the standard her father desired.

The shed became a house of horrors, where she was raped and mutilated with tools. By the age of 14, the father became worried she would fall pregnant and so began dropping medicine balls 60 times on her stomach. He told his other children that it was one of her new training techniques.

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Throughout all of this, the mother condoned the sexual abuse and lied to the daughter by telling her that her father was doing what was best.

child sexually abused by their father

At 17, she tried to take her life.

The beginning of her road to escape occurred when she told a sports trainer she was inappropriately touched.

From there, she was in and out of mental health clinics, with her parents often preventing her from seeking help.

At the age of 18, she was discharged from a clinic and never returned home.

Unfortunately, during a meeting with her siblings, her father turned up where he proceeded to drag her into a car and rape her.

As he raped her, he said, "How dare you tell people, you're a liar. I've only ever tried to be a good dad."

He only released her when she promised to come home, but instead she returned to a mental health clinic and for the first time, she told police.

Despite an apprehended violence order application being taken out against the parents, her father would continue to follow her, until one time he grabbed her again and tied her.

She was taken back to the family home. Before she could be further abused, she escaped and called the police. It was then that her parents were arrested.

The shed was found by police, and inside they discovered a scene filled with blood, tools, and scratchings on the walls, detailing her abuse.

After a 12-week trial, the father was found guilty on all counts, with the mother found guilty on 13 of the 16 offences against her.

If this post brings up issues for you around sexual or emotional abuse, please call Bravehearts on 1800 272 831. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from The Child Abuse Prevention hotline on 1800 688 009 or visit http://www.childabuseprevention.com.au/ or call The Child Abuse Report Line on: 131 478 (open 24 hours). You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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