13 March 1991
Sydney Morning Herald
PERTH: Perth police say they have proved a link between organised child sex abuse and devil worship, following the conviction on Monday of a young man on 22 charges of indecent assault and dealing and of evil intent.
The head of WA's child sex abuse unit, Detective-Sergeant Roger Smart, said the conviction of Scott Brian Gozenton demonstrated the link.
Satanic practices "and the associated abuse perpetrated on children is prevalent in the United States and Britain and no-one can now doubt that the link can be made here", Sergeant Smart said.
Gozenton, 20, pleaded guilty to all charges and was remanded until April 5 for sentencing after the District Court was told that 13 witchcraft covens operated in Perth. Judge Kennedy was told that Gozenton had been a victim of sex abuse as an eight year-old and had been recruited as a teenager into a satanic cult where adults practised bizarre sex with each other, their own children and teenage recruits.
The more bizarre and perverse the orgies, the closer cult members felt to the Devil, Gozenton's barrister, Mr Mark Trowell, said.
"The real villains are those individuals who visited their perversity on this young man," Mr Trowell said. Gozenton was a tragic result of sexual abuse perpetrated by a school caretaker against himself and six other boys for three years.
Shame prevented him from revealing his "terrible secret" and he became introverted, rebellious and distant from his parents.
"At the age of 14, he was approached by a school chum about a new family where rebellion was encouraged and someone like this young man could get a sense of belonging," Mr Trowell said. He said the coven was attended by about 20 adults of both sexes, their young children and the teenage recruits. Rituals were both homosexual and heterosexual, he said.
His client had recognised cult members at earlier hearings but had refused to identify them for fear of reprisals, Mr Trowell said.
"These evil people kept this young man under their spell and direction for four years while these offences against him were committed. He ... was instructed to establish a junior coven for the purpose of recruiting junior members from school and the Scout group with which he was associated."
Mr Trowell said the initiation rituals mostly involved touching of genitals and, apart from three charges of oral sex were "not unduly perverse". The evil design charges related to attempts to recruit others into the cult, where Gozenton had the code name of Death.
He said Gozenton had been seeking to extricate himself from the satanists, established a stable relationship with a woman and improved relations with his parents and did not deserve a jail sentence.
Mr Chris Drew, for the Crown, said the charges against Gozenton were"extremely serious" and that jail was the only option available.