Indigenous tour guide Joseph Williams jailed for sexually assaulting six women

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Williams maintained his innocence throughout the trial. (ABC Great Southern: Tom Edwards)

An award-winning former tour guide who preyed on vulnerable women by falsely claiming he could heal trauma has been sentenced to 12 years behind bars in Western Australia.

Joseph Luke Williams, 58, was sentenced in Albany District Court this afternoon on 12 counts of sexual assault against six women over a four-year period from 2010.

Williams was found guilty of assaulting the women under the guise of cultural practices in March following a nine-day trial.

The court heard Williams falsely represented himself to his victims as an Aboriginal elder.

He told them he could treat trauma stemming from childhood sex abuse, said he could treat infertility and claimed his semen had magical powers that could deter stalkers.

During sentencing, Judge Peter Christopher Stevenson said Williams had groomed the victims.

“The trust they put in Mr Williams as a traditional healer negated the need for physical violence,” Judge Stevenson said.

“The situations that Williams orchestrated ensured there was no opportunity for informed consent.

“You preyed upon vulnerable women who were seeking solace in spiritual healing and guidance, on the basis of what you represented to them.”

The court heard a pre-sentencing psychological report found Williams showed no remorse over the assaults.

Williams was visibly upset during the sentencing remarks.

‘Striking pattern’

“In respect to each victim there was a degree of calculation, planning and premeditation, with a striking pattern of similarity in the grooming of the victims by [Williams],” Judge Stevenson said.

“[The acts] were committed for your own sexual gratification and bolstering of your self-belief and ego.”

In March, an 11-person jury, which deliberated for eight hours over two days, acquitted Williams of one count of sexual penetration without consent and one count of indecent assault.

The defence argued Williams had been in consenting sexual relationships with some of the women and that some of the allegations had not occurred or had not occurred in the way they were alleged.

Williams won awards as an Indigenous tourism operator in WA’s Great Southern region.

Victims, Aboriginal elders, a police investigator, his children and his partner testified during the trial.

Williams will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

Source: Thanks