Tom Anderson … advised as a boy to apologise in front of court for having gay sex and put on a 12-month good behaviour bond. Photo: KYLIE ESLER
A disability worker is seeking an official pardon after he was punished for sodomy even though he was the 14-year-old sexually abused victim of a middle-aged man.
Tom Anderson, now 49, was charged and found guilty of sodomy in 1977, despite being the victim of a sexual predator more than twice his age.
He was advised by the court to apologise for having gay sex and put on a 12-month good behaviour bond.
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Mr Anderson, a qualified accountant of Wodonga, also claims police recommended against counselling.
“They told my parents I’d grow out of it,” he told The Border Mail
Laws against male homosexuality were abolished in 1981 and Mr Anderson last year started a campaign to have an official pardon or formal apology from either the Victorian government or Victoria Police.
Victorian Police Minister Peter Ryan last month wrote to Mr Anderson expressing his personal sympathy and regret.
He has referred Mr Anderson’s request to Victoria’s Attorney-General Robert Clark who, as well as Governor of Victoria Alex Chernov, has the power to pardon.
“I am extremely concerned by the events that you describe,” Mr Ryan wrote in the letter.
“I am truly sorry for you … I also regret what happened to you after the offence was reported to police.”
“Although I am not able to assist you with a pardon … I have taken the liberty of referring your request for a pardon to the Attorney-General for his consideration.”
The Attorney-General’s office confirmed it had received the request and a reply is expected by mid-year.
Mr Anderson said Mr Ryan’s letter has reinvigorated his quest.
“It reduced me to tears,” he said.
“I felt a lot of relief as I read Mr Ryan recognise what I went through, but it was also like dangling the carrot in front of me.
“Everything with government moves at snail’s pace, but at least it feels like we’re heading somewhere.”
Mr Anderson’s employer had sex with the paperboy for three months in 1977.