Kamm 'odd little man'

Illawarra Mercury/July 5, 2005
By Rebecca Senescall

Nowra cult leader William Kamm might have been an "odd little man" who wrote overtly sexual letters to a 15-year-old girl.

But his writings did not prove anything more than a desire for sexual contact which was "never crystallised", Kamm's lawyer Gregory Stanton told a jury yesterday.

The Crown and defence took turns to address the jury as Kamm's trial neared its end.

Kamm, 55, also known as Little Pebble, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of aggravated indecent assault and one count of aggravated sexual intercourse with the girl in 1993, after he chose her as one of his 12 "mystical wives".

At the start of the trial, the girl, who cannot be identified, told the court Kamm repeatedly kissed her using his tongue, fondled her breasts, rubbed her leg and once put his hand under her skirt and masturbated her.

During the period in which the assaults allegedly took place, Kamm sent her a series of love letters, which Crown prosecutor Richard Herps told the jury were overtly - and at times explicitly - sexual.

Mr Herps read portions of Kamm's letters referring to his desire to "make love" to the girl.

"Do you think about us making love, do you desire it?" he wrote in July 1993.

"I have been thinking about it. You have such a sexy body. I believe we should wait til at least the end of next year to conceive a child ... that does not mean that we can't make love."

But Mr Stanton said although Kamm did not challenge the letters' "sexual flavour", or that he had written them, they did not prove any sexual assaults had taken place.

"Don't use these letters to convict him simply because you think it inappropriate or lewd for him to be writing these letters to a girl of 15," Mr Stanton told the jury.

"That is not the offence."

Mr Stanton said the letters constituted a denial any sexual contact took place between the girl and Kamm. They were "the expression of someone speaking about what they hoped would happen in future", rather than describing past events.

He urged the jury not to judge Kamm or his community for their "downright strange" beliefs.

"Whatever you may think of him, he is not be be judged because he represents in this society something of an odd or peculiar figure," Mr Stanton said.

"He is not here to to suffer and endure a judgement as to his religious conviction, as to the oddity of his beliefs and teachings or a condemnation, either in ridicule or in serious judgement to him and those that follow him."

The Crown described Kamm as leader of the Cambewarra religious order, whose followers believed he received messages from the Virgin Mary. The girl had submitted to Kamm's alleged behaviour because she believed it was "the will of heaven" for her to be Kamm's wife, Mr Herps said.

Closing addresses are expected to finish today.

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