FixedIt: going to a hotel was not the crime

May 19, 2020by Jane Gilmore

The Age reported that a music teacher from Geelong was jailed for grooming and sexually abusing a 17 year old girl who was his student at the time. 

The girl was in his care. The school, her parents and most importantly, the girl herself, trusted him to teach her and take seriously his responsibility as a person in charge of her wellbeing. Instead, he sexually abused her and groomed her to keep his abuse of her a secret. These actions are crimes for which he was rightly convicted. 

Hiding the crimes violent and predatory men commit against women and girls behind salacious details that minimise the effect of sexual abuse is dangerous and inaccurate. 

Going to a hotel, even a 5 star hotel (with all the subtle implications of luxury and fun) is not a crime. That is not the choice that got him charged or convicted. His choice to abuse her was the crime and it should be the first focus of the headline and the story. The article itself did a good job of balancing reporting the defence and prosecution evidence, while still making it clear that the abuse was entirely the fault of the man who chose to abuse a child. It’s a shame it was published under such an irresponsible headline.


FixedIt is an ongoing project to push back against the media’s constant erasure of violent men and blaming of innocent victims. If you would like to help fund it – even $5 a month makes a big difference – please consider becoming a Patron

Sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and support.24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
Ph: 1800 737 732 

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© Jane Gilmore 2014