A paedophile former NSW politician who destroyed the lives of the young boys he abused has been confronted with the torment his victims face daily as a result of his actions.
In April, Milton Orkopoulos was found guilty on 26 charges of sexual offending against four underage boys and supplying them with drugs between 1993 and 2003.
Some of the offences were committed during his stint as a state MP.
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“The life I wanted and deserved is so different to the life I got dealt because of what you did and the drugs you gave me,” one survivor said in his victim impact statement in the Downing Centre District Court on Friday.
Motivated by his sexual desire for young boys, the now 66-year-old opportunistically groomed his vulnerable victims by introducing them to cannabis before moving onto harder drugs like heroin.
He would apologise to them later when the sexual activity got too rough or painful.
A man abused as an 11-year-old, when Orkopoulous was 35, told of how his life changed forever, and he didn’t think he could get through life at times due to the abuse.
“I felt not wanted anywhere and would spend a lot of time on the streets, sometimes in dangerous situations, and often had no food or money,” he said in a victim impact statement read out in court.
“I’ve blamed myself, and I’ve hated myself.”
Milton Orkopoulos was found guilty on 26 charges of sexually abusing four boys and supplying drugs. Credit: AAP
Another victim, who was 12 to 13 years old at the time of the offending, detailed the long list of issues he had suffered as a result of Orkopoulos’s actions, including developing trust issues and rebelling against authority.
He told of his suicidal thoughts and relationship breakdowns with family and friends.
“My family didn’t understand why I had changed because I did not confide in them,” he said in his statement.
“I was alone with my trauma and basically tore my family apart and ruined my own life.”
A third victim, whose grandmother took him to see the MP to discuss the boy’s behaviour, told of how that fateful encounter resulted in a life of drug abuse and years in prison.
“My Nan took me to see you as she thought you were someone to trust.
“She carried guilt and would say, ‘where did I go wrong?’, but I couldn’t tell her what you did to me.
“You and the juvenile justice experience ruined me. It gave me a dirty taste of what was to come.”
The 66-year-old was elected as the Labor member for the state seat of Swansea, in the NSW Hunter region, from 1999 until 2006, including a brief stint as a minister from 2005.
Then-premier Morris Iemma dismissed Orkopoulos in November 2006 after he was charged with a first round of offences, including child prostitution, sexual assault and using taxpayer money to pay a teenage boy for sex.
He was sentenced to 13 years and 11 months in jail in 2008 after being convicted of 28 offences relating to sexual assault of a minor, indecent assault and supplying heroin and cannabis.
He will be sentenced for the latest set of charges on November 17.
If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
If you need help in a crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For further information about depression contact beyondblue on 1300224636 or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.