Victim 'mystically married' sect leader

Associated Press/June 15, 2005

An alleged sexual assault victim was "mystically married" to a sect leader who claims to commune with the Virgin Mary, a court has been told.

The then-15-year-old was living in a religious commune on the NSW south coast run by self-styled seer William Kamm - known to his followers as The Little Pebble - when the alleged assaults took place.

Kamm, 55, is standing trial in the NSW District Court on four indecent assault charges and one of aggravated sexual intercourse without consent.

On Tuesday the jury heard the girl, who cannot be named, "mystically married" Kamm in 1993, one of 12 queens and 72 princesses "designated" by the Virgin Mary to conceive "a new race" with Kamm.

Crown Prosecutor Richard Herps told the court Kamm had founded the Christian offshoot The Order of Saint Charbel in 1985 on a property outside Nowra.

"It's the belief of the accused and many of this community ... that the accused received messages, or locutions, from Mary the mother of Jesus Christ, imparted on the 13th day of each month," Mr Herps said.

He said Mary told Kamm he was to conceive a "new race" as part of a new era, which would be triggered by a series of "cataclysmic events".

The girl's parents "rejoiced" when she was chosen as a queen, Mr Herps said, believing there would be no physical intercourse just a "spiritual" union between the two.

But defence barrister Gregory Stanton argued the girl had a financial motive in bringing charges against Kamm.

She first made a formal complaint in 2002 at the advice of a lawyer who was engaged to sue Kamm for money owed to the family at the time, Mr Stanton said.

The girl was also approached by a television current affairs program and paid $2,500 to sell her story, for broadcast if and when Kamm was convicted on the charges, Mr Stanton said.

"There was a motive for the providing of this information," he said.

"It was a motive of financial gain."

Mr Stanton said the girl was "kicked out" of the sect for bringing the community into disrepute, and for failing to meet its physical and spiritual rules.

Judge John Williams instructed the jury to put aside any moral issues they might have with Kamm's beliefs.

"Criminal courts are not courts of morals they are here to enforce criminal law," Judge Williams said.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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