Former Scout Leader Jailed for 31 Years for Decades of Child Sex Abuse
By Georgina Mitchell
Sydney Morning Herald
April 23, 2020
A former Scout leader has been jailed for a maximum of 31 years and 6 months after he preyed upon young boys for more than two decades, sexually abusing nine children including a seven-year-old boy.
Mario Henry Aliverti, 61, assaulted six boys while he occupied leadership roles at a Scout group in south-west Sydney between 1985 and 1989. One boy was abused again by Aliverti in 1991.
|Mario Henry Aliverti leaves court in 2018.|
Those boys, who were aged between 11 and 15, were subjected to a range of persistent assaults including being masturbated against their will, being touched indecently, and having Aliverti penetrate them, causing significant pain.
One of the boys, aged 12, was assaulted so forcefully he developed a friction burn on his penis. He was assaulted again at age 13, sustaining another penis burn which bled, after Aliverti invited him to build canoes in a Scout building and instead pushed him down and assaulted him while he cried. He later attempted to take his own life.
Aliverti's Scout membership was terminated in 1990 after one of the boys told his teacher what happened. No charges were laid at the time, after the boy's family were told by a Scout commissioner to "think twice" because police might charge them with neglect.
The victims made police complaints between 2016 and 2018.
After the Scouts, Aliverti gained access to three other boys whom he assaulted between 1993 and 2007.
One, who was assaulted at age 7, was in the same bed as Aliverti and pretended to be asleep as Aliverti pressed against him and put his mouth on him. Aliverti claimed in a police interview, years later, that the child moved in his direction during the night "and when I woke up his penis was in my mouth".
Aliverti pleaded guilty last year to 12 offences including sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 10, aggravated indecent assault and gross indecency.
On Thursday, NSW District Court Judge Jane Culver jailed Aliverti for a maximum of 31 years and 6 months with a non-parole period of 21 years. Six of his victims watched on as the sentence was delivered.
In harrowing victim impact statements, one said the abuse has stayed with him for 30 years. Another said he was "powerless to stop it". "I want all of the memories erased," the man said. "[He] stole my innocence, my dreams and my soul."
Another victim said he drinks heavily, cries randomly and lives with depression. "Nothing has been more mentally scarring than being molested as a child by someone I trusted," he said.
Aliverti said in a letter to the court there is "no excuse" for his actions, "which were carried out perhaps when I was morally immature." He was aged between 25 and 46 when he committed the offences.
In a statement, Scouts NSW said the organisation worked closely with police while Aliverti was investigated and the sentence "reflects the severity of his crimes".
"The safety and protection of children in our care is our number one priority," Scouts NSW chief executive Jane Siebum said. "Scouts has a national child protection policy which immediately reports any and all suspicious behaviour to appropriate authorities."
Judge Culver said the trauma from child sex abuse is very real and typically permeates "every aspect" of victims' lives.
She said people assaulted as children can find it difficult to bring forward such confusing allegations, "where they themselves somehow feel shamed although they deserve no sense of shame."
Police have urged victims of similar offences, regardless of how long ago they happened, to come forward by contacting Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or the Illawarra Child Abuse Unit on 02 4222 4916.
Aliverti will be eligible for parole in November 2040, aged 81.