Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Maccabi basketball coach jailed for 8 years for sex abuse

The Age   A [non-Jewish] basketball coach who abused his position of trust to form sexual relationships with two teenage girls, and offend against two others, has been jailed for eight years.

Shannon Charles Francis, 37, will spend a minimum five years and six months in prison for his offending in 1999 and 2000, which involved the sisters of a boy he coached and two others from a girls' team.

The victims were aged between 13 and 16 at the time and were involved with basketball clubs in the Oakleigh area. [...]

He was aged between 22 and 24 when he took advantage of the girls.

Judge Sexton said Francis had breached the trust of a family that considered him a male role model and family friend, when he maintained a sexual relationship with one girl and twice had sex with the girl's younger sister.

Francis also manipulated the trust of two girls from another basketball club, by forming a relationship with one and encouraging another girl to leave her family home with the intention of having sex, the court head.

At one point he told one girl he would commit suicide unless she maintained their relationship, a threat Judge Sexton described as "particularly heinous".

Judge Sexton said Francis had taken advantage of four vulnerable girls, and acknowledged their bravery in coming forward. She assured them they had done nothing wrong.[...]

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