Australian Diplomat - William
By Matthew Moore
May 12, 2004
Former Australian diplomat William Stuart Brown is escorted from court.
Scores of Balinese spectators clapped and burst into song after a court sentenced a former Australian diplomat to 13 years' jail for having sex with two boys.
After hearing his sentence, William Stuart Brown, 52, trembled, stamped his foot and yelled "Bastards" at the anti-child-sex campaigners and media who packed the court.
"The defendant, Brown, William Stuart, is legally and convincingly proven guilty of committing a continuous obscenity against children," I Nyoman Sutama, chief judge of the Amlapura District Court, said.
Brown, who worked for the Ausaid office in the Australian embassy in Jakarta in the early 1980s, had admitted attempting to sodomise two boys but was clearly stunned at the severity of the sentence.
In the only other case of a foreigner being convicted of sexually abusing children in Bali, an Italian man received a 10-month prison sentence in 2001 for similar offences.
The court also fined Brown $A24,000 and confiscated his car, worth another $10,000 - but returned his brown shirt used as evidence in the trial.
In handing down the decision, one of the three members of the bench, Judge Sahat Pardamean, said Brown had done more than damage the two boys, both aged 14, who sat in the gallery less than two metres behind Brown while the 21/2-hour judgement was read.
"The actions of the defendant damaged the image of Bali as a tourist destination and created an image of Bali as a haven for pedophiles," he said.
"It damaged the futures of the victims... he was an ex-diplomat, a highly educated person. He's a teacher, he's supposed to set a good example."
For months Brown has been concerned that a spate of publicity about the activities of pedophiles in Bali this year would prompt a harsh punishment. The sentence he received was two years shy of the maximum.
When his trial began in March, he held a press conference in Karangasem jail to deny any knowledge of pedophile rings in Bali and to play down the severity of his offences.
Professor Luh Ketut Suryani, from the Committee Against Sexual Abuse, hailed the verdict as a breakthrough in efforts to combat child sex abuse in Bali, although she denied that her group's members, who attended the court, had swayed the judges.
Before the verdict, the father of one of the boys, Ida Made Buruan, hoped for the maximum penalty for Brown and said his son continued to suffer the effects of the assault. "I think he deserves the punishment, it's appropriate. I hope the punishment will make him stop doing it," he said after the verdict.
Brown had admitted attempting to sodomise the two boys at an isolated beach in early January, but insisted he stopped when they resisted. He also admitted taking about 20 young boys to the beach in a utility and to kissing and touching them.
Brown's lawyer, Ketut Suwiga Arya Dauh, said he would consult with his client before deciding whether to appeal. Australian consular staff have visited Brown in prison and say he has been bored but has otherwise been OK since his arrest in January.
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