Sex fiend taunts police over victims

Last updated 13:08 26/09/2012
William Herbert Mortensen
TAUNTED POLICE: William Herbert Mortensen.

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A Nelson man sentenced to preventive detention for sex offences against boys and girls told police that there were more victims, and challenged them to find them.

In the High Court in Nelson yesterday, William Herbert Mortensen, 53, was sentenced on 34 charges relating to a series of sexual offences committed between 2004 and 2012.

Mortensen admitted a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection with a male between 12 and 16, a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection with a girl under 12, a charge of indecent assault on a boy under 16, and four charges of performing an indecent act on girls under 12.

He had also admitted six charges of knowingly making an objectionable publication, 12 charges of knowingly supplying an objectionable publication, three representative charges of possession of an unlawful publication, three charges of theft, and three charges of indecency with an animal.

When interviewed by police, and asked whether there were any other victims, Mortensen said there were and challenged the police to find them, the court heard.

The mother of one of the victims told the court she had regarded Mortensen as a friend and confidant.

That ended the day a detective and senior constable arrived at her door, saying there were pictures of her daughter in a compromising situation on the internet.

The police also showed her pictures of another girl they were trying to identify, who she recognised as her next-door neighbour.

The victim now goes to counselling, and she is easily frustrated, lacks confidence, and struggles at school, the mother said.

Over time more memories of indecent acts had come back to her, and she had passed this information on to the police.

The mother now hoped "all the karma in the world" would catch up with Mortensen.

"If I had my way he would rot in jail forever," she said.

One set of charges related to a 15-year-old who ran away from his Child Youth and Family caregivers to stay at Mortensen's house between November 10 and 17 last year.

One night Mortensen plied the boy with alcohol, and sexually abused him.

Another set of charges were filed after the United States Department of Homeland Security raided an online paedophile site and a linked chatroom.

They found images of another victim, an 8-year-old girl.

Mortensen had befriended the girl's family and babysat for her on at least one occasion when he photographed and sexually abused her.

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He later traded the images on a paedophile website.

Police searches of his house turned up rubbish bags containing 800 items of children's clothing, vast quantities of pornographic material, a computer containing 15,000 images including child pornography and bestiality, and seized cellphones containing similar images.

Crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue said Mortensen posed a high risk of further reoffending.

He received extensive intervention and treatment during a prison sentence for previous sexual crimes, but had continued to offend upon release.

"His past pattern of offending and rabid propensity to sexually offend against children proves him to be an incorrigible paedophile who can't stop himself.

"The court will have to stop him if he can't stop himself."

Defence lawyer Steven Zindel said the summary of facts and victim impact statements made for sobering reading.

Psychiatric examinations had suggested Mortensen had a difficult childhood, and had possibly been abused himself when he was young, warping his personality.

With advancing age, his risk of reoffending diminished, he said.

Justice Stephen Kos said preventive detention was the only viable sentence available.

Psychiatric reports suggested Mortensen had made a choice to ignore previously learned methods of managing his risk of reoffending.

It was uncertain how effective treatment would be, given his prior history, as it seemed he had a low motivation to change.

Mortensen showed little remorse for his victims.

He sentenced Mortensen to preventive detention with a minimum period of five years and six months.

- The Nelson Mail

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