High Court orders religious leader's sex conviction wiped

ABC Canberra, Australia/October 10, 2002

The High Court has ordered a sexual assault conviction against the leader of a religious sect be quashed.

Kenneth Dyers was one of the Kenja sect's leaders during the 1980s.

Mr. Dyers was convicted of the assault on a 13-year-old girl, during what was known in the sect as an energy conversion session.

The incident occurred in 1988 but was not reported until the early 1990s.

Mr. Dyers was sentenced to 12 months jail, but the sentence was suspended shortly afterwards and has since expired.

The High Court found the trial judge misdirected the jury .

The court has ruled the conviction should be set aside and a new trial ordered.

But the judges have acknowledged it will be up to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether to pursue a retrial.

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