Disgraced former New South Wales Labor minister and convicted sex offender Milton Orkopoulos has appeared in court on June 16 over historical child abuse allegations.
Orkopoulos, 62, appeared briefly in Newcastle Local Court on June 16, via audio-visual link from Sydney’s Long Bay prison.
Magistrate John Chicken adjourned the case to August 20 when the police prosecutor is expected to complete its brief of evidence against Orkopoulos.
Chicken ordered authorities to assess Orkopoulos for mental health issues.
Orkopoulos, wearing glasses and prison greens, said nothing during the brief hearing and did not apply for bail, which was formally refused.
New South Wales (NSW) Police allege Orkopoulos sexually and indecently assaulted two boys known to him on separate occasions in the 1990s in Lake Macquarie and on the NSW mid-north coast.
Orkopoulos has been charged with 15 offences including aggravated indecent assault of a person under 16 years of age, committing an act of indecency with a person under 16 years, aggravated sexual assault, and causing a child aged under 14 to participate in child prostitution.
NSW Police Superintendent Danny Sullivan said on June 16 the two victims had shown bravery to approach authorities and were being supported.
“We’re very thankful for the courage that’s been shown by the people in relation to this,” Sullivan told reporters.
“These matters are very delicate … when a victim comes forward, we’re very conscious of the trauma and distress coming forward may cause them,” he said.
He did not rule out laying additional charges on Orkopoulos.
Orkopoulos was held in Long Bay’s less secure remand section before Lake Macquarie detectives formally charged him with fresh child abuse offences on June 15.
The former member of Parliament has spent over 11-and-a-half years in jail after he was convicted of 30 child sex, drug, and child porn offences.
However, earlier in the year he had another run-in with the law when he breached his parole conditions.
Orkopoulos was granted parole in December 2019 but was arrested in January 2020 for allegedly setting up an Instagram account and not telling police within the required seven-day period.
He had his parole revoked in February after police were notified Orkopoulos had used the mobile phone of a resident at the Malabar halfway house where he was staying.
The charges related to his alleged breach of parole conditions is scheduled for July 1.
Orkopoulos’ case comes as the Senate recently concluded a debate over a new bill looking to strengthen child abuse legislation and increase the minimum mandatory sentence for serious child sex abusers.
The bill was voted down by Labor, Centre Alliance, Greens, and Jacqui Lambie. However, on June 16, Labor indicated that it would backtrack this decision and not oppose the bill should the federal government reject their amendments the next time it goes to the Senate.