Junior referee jailed for sex crimes against teenage girls
A junior rugby league referee with “deviant sexual interests” has been jailed for 16 years for having sex with multiple teenage girls.
Dale Whiteman, 32, preyed on 22 girls, grooming them and having sex with a number of them over a 15 year period.
He was jailed on Friday for 16 years with a minimum 12 years for his crimes.
“Over a period of 15 years, Dale Whiteman in a persistent and predatory manner exploited 22 young girls for his own sexual gratification and deviant and prurient interests,” District Court of NSW Judge Andrew Haesler said, handing down his sentence.
“His actions harmed many young girls. His actions did, or had the potential to, cause lasting psychological harm to each child victim.
“His offending did not stop with his initial arrest but only when he was jailed soon after.”
Twenty-two complainants came forward to police, who were aged between 11 and 17 at the time of the offending.
Whiteman had physical contact with six victims, while the rest he exploited online.
He variously questioned his victims about whether they “preferred to wear a G-string”, asked them to send “dirty messages”, photographs of them naked and engaged them in sexual acts.
His offending ended when he was arrested and denied bail in March, 2020.
During his interview, he admitted to police he had a “fetish” for “G-string bikini” and “swimwear.”
Psychologist evidence given to the court said Whiteman’s symptoms of depression, loneliness and perceived social rejection contributed to his offending.
However, the ages of his victims and duration of his offending also indicated the presence of “deviant sexual interests”.
Judge Haesler said Whiteman accustomed his young victims to sexual activity and his actions were “deceptive, exploitive and invasive of a child’s privacy”.
He urged the victims not to feel shame for what happened.
“In a number of victim impact statements, a child indicated that they felt some guilt, shame or blame for what occurred. They should not,” the judge said.
“Each victim is a survivor of a sexual crime. Each has come forward to expose what was done to them. Each is to be commended for doing so. Each, when a young girl, had crimes committed against her.
“Each has complained of those crimes. They did nothing wrong. There is only one criminal here and only one person for sentence – Dale Whiteman.”
Whiteman pleaded guilty to multiple offences, including sexual intercourse with a child aged 14-16, using a carriage service to groom and to transmit indecent material to a child under 16, aggravated indecent assault and possessing child abuse material.
The judge said it is hoped jail will deter Whiteman from committing further crimes, but he also needed appropriate treatment and monitoring to prevent the “real risk” he will offend again.
Originally published as Junior referee jailed for sex crimes against teenage girls
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