DANIEL “Gug” Hayman’s religious Jewish upbringing may have led to the sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy in the late 1980s.
Magistrate David Williams handed Hayman a 19-month suspended sentence at the Downing Centre Local Court on Tuesday for the indecent assault of a person under the age of 16 by a person in authority.
Hayman, who was 24 at the time of the offence, took the young teen to an isolated location to collect firewood while on a Jewish camp at Stanwell Tops near Sydney. After gathering the firewood, he inappropriately touched the boy for several minutes.
Williams laid part of the blame on Hayman’s religious Jewish upbringing, stating that he accepted the submission of Hayman’s lawyer that his client was immature, naive and had limited sexual experience at the time of the indecent assault.
“[Due to] the offender’s strict religious upbringing, the opportunity for sexual understanding, experience and development was heavily restrained and may have led to distortions in his perception as to what was appropriate and what was not,” Williams said.
“The evidence demonstrates that the offender’s sexual naivety did play an important part.”
The magistrate said that in other circumstances, Hayman would be sent to jail.
“This is a relatively serious example of an offence of this type. Skin-to-skin contact under the victim’s clothes, it lasted minutes instead of seconds, was not consensual and was in an isolated location,” Williams said.
“Had I been sentencing a case that occurred today, I would have no hesitation in sentencing him to jail full time.”
But due to Hayman’s law-abiding nature over the last 25 years since the incident, Williams said that a suspended sentence and a good-behaviour bond would be appropriate.
Welcoming the sentencing and encouraging anyone with information about child sexual abuse to contact the relevant authorities, the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) applauded “the victims who have had the strength to come forward”, and reminded the community that it is a criminal offence to disclose the name of an individual who has made a disclosure to the police in relation to being a victim of child sexual abuse.
Last month, Hayman’s victim told the court he had been bullied and harassed in his synagogue after his identity had been revealed.
“As a community, we must encourage reporting of such crimes to police, and ensure that victims feel safe and not in any way marginalised for taking the brave step to disclose such personal, sensitive and demoralising information to the police,” ORA said in a statement.
NSW Police are investigating if Hayman, who currently lives in Los Angeles, can be registered on the United States Department of Justice’s National Sex Offenders list.
Under Californian law, a sex offender who was convicted in another country must register within five days of moving to California.
Daniel Hayman walks free from a Sydney court this week, surrounded by reporters. Photo: AAP.