Justice has finally prevailed in the long running case against the former tour manager of a well known Australian band who abused his position to commit 87 sex crimes against girls as young as 12. A judge today sentenced John Zimmerman to 16 years behind bars for his crimes, with a minimum of 12. He will be on the sex offenders register for life.
Zimmerman earlier this year plead guilty to the charges that included rape, sexual penetration of a child, indecent acts, possessing and making child pornography, stalking, and using a carriage service to harass, procure or groom a child for sexual acts.
According to the Herald Sun, Zimmerman stalked and harassed countless Australian teenagers, all under the age of consent, exploiting his access to the band as a bargaining chip for sexual favours. He would use the popularity of the band with young teenage audiences to his favour by promising his victims free tickets to gigs and backstage passes to meet the band.
Zimmerman allegedly told girls as young as 14 that he would “treat you like you are living the rock star life”, and when question of the legality of his actions that it was the first time he had “gone so young” and it was “part of promotion for the band”.
In sentencing Zimmerman, Judge Richard Maidment said the offences were “utterly deplorable” and “selfish and evil”.
“It is abundantly clear that teenage users of social media applications such as MySpace and Facebook are constantly vulnerable to manipulative on line attack from determined, skilful, unscrupulous and serial sexual predators,” Judge Maidment said.
“It is unfortunate that those who employ their ingenuity in devising and providing popular social media facilities such as My Space and Facebook have accorded so little priority to protecting a significant class of their clients from readily foreseeable harm. That responsibility is left with often unsuspecting parents who may be ill-equipped to assess the risks to which their children are exposed by unsupervised access to the internet.”
During the proceedings one of his victims made a statement to the court calling for justice for is abhorrent crimes. “John Zimmerman is a disgusting, revolting paedophile, he does not deserve to see the light of day,” she said. Prosecutors had asked that Zimmerman be jailed for 20 years.