A woman has told how she was abused when just 15 years old to gratify the depraved sexual desires of controversial religious leader William Kamm.
Wiping away tears as she spoke, the 27-year-old woman told Sydney District Court on Friday she had loved and trusted Kamm, known to followers as the Little Pebble, since the age of six when her family moved to Kamm’s West Cambewarra religious community.
But she said Kamm “violated my innocence” nine years later, kissing and touching her after choosing her to be one of his mystical wives.
That violation brought four charges of aggravated indecent assault and one of aggravated sexual intercourse, for which Kamm, 55, was convicted by a jury in July.
At the sentencing hearing on Friday the victim of the alleged assaults told through a victim impact statement of her confusion and embarrassment at the attention Kamm was paying her.
The girl said she felt like an outcast, “vulnerable and alone” as her high school education suffered and her self-esteem plummeted.
“I just wanted to be a normal teenager and not be in a relationship with a 45-year-old man,” the girl said.
“I was very vulnerable and alone at a time in my life (when) I needed support.”
Fearing Kamm wanted to pursue the relationship and level of intimacy even further, and saying she was too embarrassed to tell her parents what was happening, she fled the community when she was 16.
Her parents were left behind fearing their daughter had rejected God.
“I was made to feel like an outcast and out of God’s favour,” the girl said as she revealed the pain of having to fend for herself and discover her own path in life without family support and “without his (Kamm’s) warped ideas of God’s plan”.
But the confusion and embarrassment were gone as the woman confronted Kamm in the court.
“You used your position as a spiritual mentor and established family friend to use and abuse me … to gratify your sexual depravity,” the woman said.
“It was a grave violation of trust.”
Pausing to wipe tears from her eyes, she said, “I will not let this man’s actions determine my life”.
But Kamm remained unmoved by the rebukes, as he did throughout the three-week trial which culminated in guilty verdicts on July 8.
Defence Barrister Greg Stanton tendered eight character references for Kamm and indicated an intention to cross-examine a psychologist who made an assessment of Kamm.
Judge John Williams adjourned the matter until today when further submissions will be made.
Kamm has declared his innocence and his intention to appeal the guilty verdict, and has asked followers to pray for his accusers.