Ex-Labor MP lured boys for sex with drugs, money

Duncan Murray |

Milton Orkopoulos has been sentenced for sexually abusing four boys and supplying them drugs.
Milton Orkopoulos has been sentenced for sexually abusing four boys and supplying them drugs.

Ex-NSW Labor politician Milton Orkopoulos used drugs, money and his position of trust in the community to sexually assault vulnerable young boys.

The now-66-year-old will spend another decade behind bars after being found guilty in April on 26 charges involving sexually abusing and supplying drugs to four minors between 1993 and 2003.

He was sentenced on Friday to a further 20 years in jail for the offences, which include 11 counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged under 16.

Orkopoulos sexually touched the boys, then aged between 10 and 13, and forced them to have anal and oral sex with him, leaving them ashamed, fearful and suffering life-long psychological impacts.

He is already serving a near 14-year sentence for a string of other sex crimes against young boys, for which he was convicted in 2008. He continues to deny any guilt.

In delivering her decision, Judge Jane Culver described Orkopoulos’s crimes as “calculated, predatory and manipulative”.

With the latest sentence, he will first be eligible for parole on June 14, 2033.

Motivated by his sexual desire for young boys, Orkopoulos opportunistically groomed his vulnerable victims by introducing them to cannabis before moving onto harder drugs like heroin.

Orkopoulos was elected as the Labor member for the state seat of Swansea, in the NSW Hunter region, from 1999 until 2006, and served a brief stint as a minister from 2005.

Then-premier Morris Iemma dismissed him in November 2006 after he was charged with a first round of offences, including child prostitution, sexual assault and using taxpayer money to pay a teenage boy for sex.

Some of the assaults took place at Orkopoulos’s Swansea electorate office and he discussed building a skate park with one victim, saying he was “a person who could make things happen in town”.

Most of the boys came from homes where they had lost either one or both parents to drug use and were vulnerable to the MP offering them large amounts of cash, cannabis and cigarettes, enabling him to repeatedly offend against them.

One of the victims said he thought it was “pretty cool” he was having a joint with Orkopoulos because the man was an adult and an MP, the court was told.

Former Labor NSW minister Milton Orkopoulos (file image)
Most of Orkopoulos’s victims came from homes where they had lost one or both parents to drug use. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

After raping the boy, Orkopoulos told him not to tell anyone and that nobody would believe him anyway.

That victim was first introduced to Orkopoulos by his grandma, who took him to see the parliamentarian to discuss behavioural issues.

On another occasion, Orkopoulos gave the same boy a bong, which he sprinkled with a white powder believed to be heroin before again sexually assaulting him.

The victim said during a sentencing hearing that his long-term drug use, which he believes stemmed from his experiences with Orkopoulos, completely derailed his life.

“You gave me my first drug at age 10,” he said.

“I was only a mixed-up kid. I’ve spent years in jail due to my addiction that you gave me.

“I blamed my nan for taking me to see you.”

Judge Culver said her sentence took into account the fact that Orkopoulos had spent 15 years in custody and was seriously assaulted by one or more inmates in June.

On that occasion, Orkopoulos was hit from behind, knocking him unconscious before he was kicked, punched and his ankle stomped on, requiring surgery and the insertion of steel pins.

Judge Culver noted Orkopoulos’s crimes and profile made him a target in prison and he would likely continue to feel anxious for his safety while he was incarcerated.

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