Accused child abuser to finally face court after 15 years
WHEN she heard her accused abuser had been extradited back to Queensland after 15 years of waiting for justice, the Maryborough woman put her head in her hands and cried.
This week the man, aged in his 30s, appeared before Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on two counts of indecent dealing with a child under 16 after he was arrested in another state.
He has been recommitted to the district court and was allowed bail on a $20,000 surety.
It is unknown if he was able to raise those funds or if he remains in Maryborough Correctional Centre.
For years, Jamie* has wanted to share her story and see the accused have his day in court.
In July, the Chronicle shared Jamie's memories of that night when she was 13, during which she says she was plied with alcohol.
The unresolved case has haunted her for more than a decade.
When Jamie, now 27, got the phone call telling her he had been extradited, she was both shocked and relieved.
At first she thought it was a prank call.
"I spent three days crying," she said.
"It was a relief - it what just kind of everything, just a weight lifted."
Not knowing what was going to happen next has also taken an emotional toll on Jamie, but she wants the matter heard sooner rather than later.
"I can start to heal," Jamie said.
"I didn't want to be 40 with kids waiting for this phone call."
Jamie said it was life-changing news.
"It's the news I've been waiting for," she said.
"I do believe it was because of the newspaper article.
"I never expected to get that phone call."
Throughout the long journey to justice, Shine Lawyers have provided assistance and advice to her.
Lisa Flynn, Shine Lawyers' abuse law expert said Jamie had waited a long time for this.
"The extradition of her alleged abuser is a significant step from the police," Ms Flynn said.
"This development in her case sends a really encouraging message to all survivors of sexual abuse."
* Jamie is not her real name. Her name has been withheld for legal reasons.