A convicted child sex offender has unsuccessfully asked a court to relax conditions applied after his conviction in order to improve his chances of success with online dating, saying the mandatory disclosure obligations were holding him back from finding love.
The South Australian man took an appeal to Australia’s Supreme Court, arguing that conditions applied after he was convicted for child sex offending in 2003 were hindering his online quest for romance, the ABC reported.
The 58-year-old man, referred to as GD in court, pleaded guilty in 2003 to three counts of indecently assaulting his 9-year-old daughter in 2000 and 2001, receiving a 12-month suspended prison sentence.
Since the conviction, GD has faced restrictions on travelling interstate, and on having contact with children.
He has also been ordered to report any contact with a child to police within two days and to inform any parents that he was a registered offender if he stayed overnight in their home.
It is that restriction that GD claimed was impeding his online dating life, telling the court it stopped him developing a relationship and pleading for the conditions to be suspended.
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Justice Greg Parker outlined the man’s dating history in his decision, stating: “Apart from the three convictions for indecent assault of his daughter in 2003 … [he] has no other convictions.
“[GD] has sought to make contact with women in his age group through the use of the dating site RSVP.
“He met and dated several women through the use of the RSVP site but has not had any contact for a few years.
“He has made the present application because he believes an order that will relieve him from statutory disclosure obligations that will hinder the development of a relationship.”
The use of the online dating platform was a breach of his sentencing condition itself and GD was charged for the breach when he admitted it to a psychologist.
Justice Parker said GD argued his reporting obligations “had limited his ability to establish an enduring relationship with an adult female”.
Police opposed the application to suspend the reporting obligations, saying that GD has committed serious offences against a vulnerable victim.
In denying the request, Justice Parker said that the conditions were “less likely to interfere with his prospects of developing a relationship with a woman than he believes to be the case”.