DPP to decide on Pebble case

No bill bid: William Kamm in an earlier appearance at Nowra Court. Lawyers are pushing for sex charges to be dropped against the cult leader

Illawarramercury.com.au/April 20, 2004
By Erin O'Dwyer

Lawyers for William (Little Pebble) Kamm are pushing for sexual assault charges to be dropped against the Cambewarra cult leader.

Wollongong District Court Judge Joe Phelan heard Kamm's lawyers had presented a draft no bill to Crown prosecutor Paul Cattini which, if successful, would see all charges against Kamm dropped.

The Director of Public Prosecutions must now decide whether to proceed with the case against Kamm.

Kamm, who did not appear in court yesterday, was committed to stand trial for the alleged sexual assault of two teenaged followers in November.

The 53-year-old has pleaded not guilty to nine charges, including one count of sexual assault and three of indecent assault.

Nowra Local Court Magistrate David O'Connor heard during a committal hearing last year that it was the Virgin Mary who allegedly chose 12 "queens" from among the cult followers to marry Kamm and bear him children.

The two young women at the centre of the allegations against Kamm are now in their 20s and have left the community. But it is alleged they were aged 14 and 15 and living at the cult's compound outside Nowra when they first became queens.

One of the women told the court she had a sexual relationship with Kamm for five years, before she fell pregnant.

Mr O'Connor said the older of the complainants was a confident and eloquent witness whose first disclosure to authorities was made to a sexual assault counsellor in 1993, some 10 years after the alleged offences occurred.

"I found her to be impressive and I would expect a jury to be equally impressed," Mr O'Connor said.

"There may be some concerns as to the delay in timing of the official complaint," Mr O'Connor said. "But this is not the first time that she disclosed these matters to anyone."

Mr O'Connor said he found the younger of the two complainants inarticulate but truthful.

There was nothing in her demeanour to cause him to doubt her credibility as to the significant basis of her account, he said.

Prosecutor Mr Cattini asked for six weeks to consider the case against Kamm. He was to formally enter a plea yesterday, but will be arraigned in June if the case proceeds.

No date for a trial has been set.

Judge Phelan adjourned the matter until June 4.

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