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CYF carer rapist gets 22 years in jail

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/06/2016

Child, Youth and Family has apologised after one of its former caregivers who raped several teens in his care was sentenced to 22 years behind bars with a minimum non-parole period of 10 years.

Frank Russell Walmsley, 57, was in April found guilty of 52 charges of sexual abuse, including 12 of rape, against eight teens he was looking after.

On Friday, Justice Warwick Gendall handed Walmsley a prison sentence of 22 years with a minimum non-parole period of a decade at the High Court in Timaru.

Walmsley and his wife ran Oamaru's only CYF home from 1995 to 2000.

CYF deputy chief executive Viv Rickard says "we are truly sorry about what happened to these young people".

"Frank Walmsley has not only betrayed our trust and that of the young people he abused; he has also damaged the reputation of the many caregivers who provide loving, nurturing homes for children in our care."

During the time the Walmsleys were caregivers the ministry investigated several concerns that were unrelated to allegations of sexual offending.

After allegations of sexual offending were investigated by police, there was a management decision to terminate the Walmsley's contract in 2000.

"Much of the evidence regarding Mr Walmsley's sexual offending that was presented in court was not known by the Child, Youth and Family staff involved with the family home at the time," Mr Rickard said.

"Staff involved in the trial were distressed to learn of the level of deceit shown by Mr Walmsley and the impact his offending had on young people as details emerged through the course of the trial."

Hearing impact statements from five of Walmsley's victims, Justice Gendall said the abuse still haunted them.

"Offending such as this sends a ripple through our community; it is devastating for the victims and their families," he said.

Walmsley originally faced 101 charges, the bulk of which were for sexual offending between 1995 and 2012 during which he was a home carer for CYF and also worked in an acupuncture-like field called "tapping".

The Crown argued he had given the teens jewellery, alcohol and other gifts to silence them and the abuse only came to light after four girls he had treated with tapping complained in 2014.

They said he had also used violence to threaten the teens and boasted to them he would never be caught.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust called Walmsley the country's worst sex offender.

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