Little Pebble accused

Illawarra Mercury (Australia), Aug. 8, 2003
http://www.illawarramercury.com.au/
By ERIN O’DWYER

A mother has told a court how she trusted her daughter with the leader of a religious cult now charged with sexual assault.

The mother, whose daughter later sought sexual assault counselling, said she had not been aware there was any sexual contact between cult leader William “Little Pebble” Kamm and her daughter.

“I trusted Mr Kamm and I trusted him with our daughters,” the mother told Nowra Local Court.

“We did not accept the fact that Mr Kamm could possibly hurt or touch our daughters.”

But the mother admitted raising concerns in a letter to the Virgin Mary in 1994 when the “sexual implications” of Kamm’s spiritual unions began circulating the community.

She said the letter was later answered by Kamm, but she had no knowledge of the alleged sexual assault until 1998 when she first read love letters Kamm wrote to her daughter.

The daughter is one of two young women who have accused Kamm of sexually assaulting them when they were teenagers living in the cult’s compound at Cambewarra, near Nowra.

In a week-long committal hearing, the court heard the women were among 12 “queens” chosen by the Virgin Mary to marry Kamm and bear his children.

Kamm has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including one count of sexual assault and three counts of indecent assault.

The court heard yesterday the mother was a strict Catholic who moved her family to the community as she was disgruntled with Vatican II’s teachings.

The mother said her family felt they could live their “spiritual lives more fully in the community”, despite the Catholic Church not being supportive of Kamm’s teaching.

The family later left the community.

The daughter also gave evidence yesterday, saying she believed she would be disobeying God’s will if she refused to have sex with Kamm.

“By saying no to William we believed we were saying no to God and that to me was a pressure because you’re not doing God’s work,” she said.

The woman has alleged she was 15 when Kamm first invited her to become one of his queens, and began kissing and fondling her.

The court heard the woman later saw a counsellor whose notes recorded the woman was 13 or 14 years old when another follower first told her she had been chosen to be a queen.

Diary entries written by another alleged victim were also read to the court yesterday.

The woman, now aged in her 20s, made three diary entries in January 1995 recording how she would spend the night with Kamm.

“Guess what, I have to sleep with William tonight,” one entry read.

“Tonight I have to sleep with Willy again,” read another.

Asked by defence counsel Gregory Stanton whether sexual intercourse actually occurred, the woman replied: “I was not allowed to say no.”

The hearing will continue today.

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