Camberwarra’s William Kamm – “Little Pebble” to believers in his religious cult – was committed yesterday to stand trial for the alleged sexual assault of two teenaged followers.
Kamm showed no emotion when Nowra magistrate David O’Connor told the court he believed a jury would be likely to convict him.
The 53-year-old, who claims to regularly see visions of the Virgin Mary, has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including one count of sexual assault and three of indecent assault.
In evidence earlier this year the court heard it was the Virgin Mary who allegedly chose 12 “queens” from among the cult followers to marry Kamm and bear him children.
The two young women at the centre of the allegations against Kamm are now in their 20s and have left the community. But it is alleged they were aged 14 and 15 and living at the cult’s compound outside Nowra when they first became queens.
One of the women told the court the sexual relationship with Kamm continued for five years, until she fell pregnant.
Mr O’Connor said the older of the complainants was a confident and eloquent witness whose first disclosure to anyone in authority was to a sexual assault counsellor in 1993, some 10 years after the alleged offences occurred.
“I found her to be impressive and I would expect a jury to be equally impressed,” the magistrate said.
She did not officially complain to police until July this year, the court heard.
“There may be some concerns as to the delay in timing of the official complaint,” Mr O’Connor said. “But this is not the first time that she disclosed these matters to anyone.”
Letters and notes between Kamm and the woman suggested a sexual relationship, he found.
He read from one undated card in which Kamm allegedly wrote: “One day soon we will be together where I can ravish you.”
In a letter dated July 5, 1983, when the girl was 15, he told her she would play a part in the birth of “a new nation, a new race”. Her name would be forever proclaimed and she would receive 17 children from his seed.
In another letter, addressed to “my darling wife number three”, he apologised to her for any embarrassment she might have felt during an assignation when wives number one and two were in the next room.
On July 14, 1983, he wrote: “You do not need to worry that I am going to make you pregnant early. I have no intention of making you pregnant for some time yet. You probably do not know that you can have sex without making someone pregnant.”
Mr O’Connor noted the woman had denied claims by the defence that she was influenced in making her complaint to police by an interview the other alleged victim had arranged the next day with Seven Network’s Today Tonight show.
“The timing of the complaint does give rise to an inference that it was motivated by the possibility of financial gain,” he said.
This would be up to the jury to decide, but it was of a “secondary nature”.
Mr O’Connor found the younger of the two complainants inarticulate but truthful. There was nothing in her demeanour to cause him to doubt her credibility as to the significant basis of her account.
Kamm will be arraigned at Wollongong District Court on February 2 next year. Bail was continued.