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Star’s 10 months of hell after his rapist appeals sentence

3 weeks ago 10

WARNING: Distressing content.

Bryan Wiseman endured decades of torment before the man who molested him as a child was finally sentenced to eight years behind bars.

But the nightmare still isn’t over for the former Home And Away star.

Last November, Nowra bus driver Trevor Dale pleaded guilty to orally and anally raping Mr Wiseman when he was just 10 years old, receiving a maximum sentence of eight years’ imprisonment with a minimum of five years and nine months.

Yet the legal battle is still raging, with Dale granted “extension after extension” to appeal his sentence.

Mr Wiseman, now 51, told he was essentially living a “life sentence” while the system allowed his attacker to delay the process for 10 painful months.

He said it was yet more trauma on top of that caused by the initial police investigation and court case, which culminated in Mr Wiseman delivering a powerful victim impact statement detailing the abuse and its aftermath.

RELATED: Eight-year-old girl’s horrific ordeal

“These extensions are just a slap in the face – I thought it was all over,” an emotional Mr Wiseman said.

“I understand he is entitled to certain aspects of the law … but this is heartwrenching when I am trying to put this behind me and move on.

“It’s ridiculous, and every time I get a call from the police to say he’s applied for another extension it’s like having methylated spirits poured in the wound – it brings back the horror and I don’t seem to get any respite.”

Mr Wiseman, who played Dr John Wilson on Home And Away for four years, said he couldn’t understand why so many extensions had been granted.

“You’ve got these people who don’t have any remorse and don’t appreciate the pain they’ve caused and the victim gets dragged through it over and over again – it’s so frustrating,” he said.

“It’s like getting stabbed in the back every month there’s another extension.”

RELATED: Assault laws changed after #LetUsSpeak

But the appeals process is only one part of the justice system Mr Wiseman believes is “broken”.

He said he only discovered he was entitled to $10,000 in compensation from Victims Services after being informed by fellow sexual abuse survivors, and that once he applied there were so many delays and “hoops to jump through” it added to the overall stress he experienced.

He said the compensation should be higher.

“I appreciate it and am grateful, but I had my life screwed up and I don’t see how $10,000 is going to help fix anything,” he said.

“The system needs an overhaul and the compensation levels need to be a lot higher.”

And he said he was appalled by Victoria’s controversial gag laws – the result of changes to the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act introduced in February – which silence sexual assault victims whose offenders have been found guilty by banning them from ever speaking out under their real identities, including in the media or in autobiographies.

Those who break the new laws face fines of more than $3000 – and up to four months in jail.

As a NSW resident, the harsh laws have not personally impacted Mr Wiseman, but he said he had been contacted by many Victorian survivors who were devastated by the rules, and that he lived in fear similar laws could be rolled out across the nation.

RELATED: Rape victims could be thrown in jail

“I absolutely saw red when I read about the gag laws in Victoria – these survivors who have been abused have been sitting in their own mental hell and they can’t talk about it, they can’t write a book,” Mr Wiseman said.

“It’s just so wrong in so many ways and I’m frightened a similar law could be introduced in NSW.

“If we lose our voice, that is just so cruel – I don’t know where the justice is.”

Mr Wiseman said his decision to speak publicly about the rape had not only helped his own healing process but also allowed him to support “hundreds” of other survivors who had contacted him privately over the months.

Last month, the #LetUsSpeak campaign was launched to fight the Victorian laws after helping to overturn similar gag laws in Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

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