The Mercury (Australia), Aug. 5, 2003
By ERIN O’DWYER
A religious cult follower who claims she was sexually assaulted by the cult’s leader sought lucrative deals with two television stations before going to police, a court heard yesterday.
Blackmail, extortion and “trial by media” were among the accusations levelled at the woman by the defence yesterday, as a committal hearing into sex charges against William “Little Pebble” Kamm resumed in Nowra Local Court.
Defence counsel Gregory Stanton told the court the woman and her boyfriend delivered a handwritten letter to the cult’s compound at Cambewarra in July last year, demanding more than $21,000 or threatening to go to the police.
The court also heard the woman attempted to sell her story to the Nine Network’s 60 Minutes and the Seven Network’s Today Tonight current affair programs in July last year, before going to the police in August.
“You were playing one broadcaster against another to see the best deal you could get for yourselves,” Mr Stanton said.
“No,” she said. “60 Minutes didn’t want us.”
The woman has alleged Kamm forced her to have sex with him when she was 14 years old, and that the relationship continued until she fell pregnant about five years later.
During hearings in April the woman told the court that Kamm took her to a motel at Figtree and to a flat at Corrimal for sex on numerous occasions.
She said her mother had approved of the relationship because it was God’s will.
Kamm, 53, of Cambewarra, has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including one count of sexual assault and three counts of indecent assault.
Kamm appeared in court yesterday flanked by bodyguards, and the woman’s boyfriend was removed from the court precinct after a scuffle broke out between the two men.
The woman, now in her 20s, broke down several times as she admitted fabricating the existence of a DNA report which “proved” Kamm was the father of her son.
She said she was prepared to lie about the report’s existence because she feared Kamm would deny parentage and she wanted him to tell the truth.
“(I wanted) to stop a person raping little kids,” she said.
The court also heard she stole strands of hair from Kamm’s comb to give to producers at 60 Minutes for DNA testing, along with strands of her own hair and her son’s hair.
She also admitted meeting a Today Tonight journalist for lunch at a restaurant in Sydney’s Rushcutters Bay, before signing a $2500 exclusive interview deal.
Confronted with inaccuracies in her story, the woman said she had “blocked out” many of the details of her relationship with Kamm.
The hearing continues today.