Barney Zwartz – The Age
February 21, 2008

A NSW couple who defied a court order under Victoria’s religious vilification law are both serving nine months in Victorian prisons.

Vivienne Legg and Dyson Devine posted on their website claims that an occult group, the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO), was really a pedophile ring in Victoria, and that its activities included hosting parties at which naked children served as waiters and members had sex with and murdered children.

Those claims were the subject of a previous OTO religious vilification complaint against the 1997 Young Australian of the Year, Dr Reina Michaelson, founder of the Child Sex Abuse Prevention Program and author of the article posted on the couple’s web site. That case was settled out of court in November 2006.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered Legg and Devine to remove the article from their website last July. The pair declined to attend the hearing, after reportedly questioning the tribunal’s jurisdiction in NSW.

Victorian police went to their home at Tucabia on the NSW north coast to bring them to Melbourne for a contempt hearing on November 27, when the OTO complained the article was still on the website, gaiaguys.net.

Judge Marilyn Harbison told them to attend the next day for sentencing but they returned home.

She said the material was gross, insulting and bizarre in asserting that the OTO tortured and killed children and animals and consumed their organs in blood rituals. It also said OTO members were criminally corrupt , spoke of a culture of corruption at the highest levels of government, and identified politicians as taking part.

Judge Harbison said she had to signal to the broader community that tribunal orders were not to be ignored and that breaching the Racial and Religious Tolerance Act was a serious issue.

She noted the Canberra small claims court had earlier ordered the couple to pay $30,000 in compensation to OTO members.

Victorian police brought them back to Melbourne in January to begin their sentences. Legg is in Tarrengower, a minimum-security women’s prison at Maldon, and Devine is in Loddon prison near Castlemaine.

Legg and Devine are now represented by Victorian Legal Aid, which is believed to be considering either a Supreme Court appeal against the sentence or an apology to VCAT with a request to remit the rest of the prison sentence.

VCAT senior registrar Richard O’Keefe said the pair had a hearing date next Thursday, but they would have to choose one or the other of the legal options.


0 Responses to “Couple Jailed For Contempt In Vilification Case”

  1. No Comments

Leave a Reply





Youtube Highlights

Archives

3K2 theme by Hakan Aydin