Cult leader granted bail on child grooming charges

Cult leader granted bail on child grooming charges

Despite police claiming they have phone recordings of an alleged child abuse victim describing sexual acts she was forced to perform, her accused groomer has been granted bail.

Self-professed prophet William Kamm has been charged along with his wife Sandra Susan Mathison with the sexual abuse of the child since she was six years old.

While police say the 73-year-old never met his victim, they claim he phoned her, wrote her letters and sent presents intending to groom the girl to become a “queen” in his church.

READ MORE: Cult leader accused of grooming girl to be his ‘queen’

On Thursday, police prosecutor Sergeant Mark Philipson told Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court the evidence consisted of intercepted telephone chats between Mathison and the alleged victim as well as over 2000 jail calls from Kamm to his wife.

In one call the complainant, who cannot be identified, told Mathison she was required to masturbate over the phone with Kamm.

“The response from Mrs Mathison was along the lines of admitting or acknowledging (the complainant) was required to do that,” Sgt Philipson said.

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In another call, the 58-year-old told the alleged victim she had been chosen to be a “queen” for a very long time.

The court heard that while Kamm was in jail, he spoke in code words to his wife over the phone using phrases like ‘number eight’, ‘sausage’, or ‘brother’.

“There was coded conversation between the accused and the co-accused Ms Mathison concerning whether or not the complainant had reached puberty,” Sgt Philipson said.

Defence barrister Paul Johnson called the complainant’s claims “bizarre”, saying they did not match with police facts which said she disclosed the alleged masturbation to Mathison when she was 16 years old.

According to the facts sheet, Mathison told the girl she should perform that sexual act during confession with Kamm.

Johnson said while women in the church were appointed as queens, there was no evidence they were under the age of consent at the time.

Magistrate Scott Nash granted Kamm bail under strict conditions which require him to wear electronic monitoring and reside at a supervised correctional complex in Sydney‘s eastern suburbs.

He acknowledged that while the case against the 73-year-old was not weak, the delays in reaching a trial plus the onerous conditions Kamm already had to follow under an extended supervision order warranted his release.

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That order was imposed after Kamm was released on parole, being convicted of the child abuse of two separate complainants.

While the cult leader’s criminal history included serious offences, Nash found he did not have a history of violence nor showed a pattern of failing to comply with court orders.

The imposition of strict conditions while the 73-year-old was out on bail mitigated many of the concerns the court had, the magistrate said.

Kamm wore prison greens as he watched the hearing by video-link from Parklea Correctional Centre.

Mathison, who attended court in person, waved to her husband after he was granted bail and before the video-link was disconnected.

Under the bail conditions, Kamm will be prohibited from using a smartphone or internet-capable device, using encrypted apps, or contacting Mathison, the complainant or any prosecution witness.

He will not be released from Parklea however, until a bed has been secured for him at the correctional complex.

The 78-year-old has been charged with grooming a child under 14 years for unlawful sexual activity, grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity and an aggravated offence of inciting a person to do a sexual act.

He has also been charged with two counts of failing to comply with a supervision order.

His wife has been charged with grooming a child under 14 years for unlawful sexual activity and grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity.

No pleas have been entered at this stage.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

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