Carly Ryan’s legacy: Catch a predator before it’s too late

Carly Ryan’s legacy: Catch a predator before it’s too late

Killer?s ex: I?m sorry

UNDER
Australian law, it is still legal for predators to imitate teens online
for the purpose of child grooming. A mum whose daughter was murdered by
one says the law is insane.

Sonya Ryan’s daughter
Carly was murdered on a South Australian beach in 2007 by a man
pretending to be somebody 30 years younger.
Carly, 15, went to meet Brandon Kane, who she thought was a 20-year-old Texan musician living temporarily in Australia.
She
could never have known that she was being lured in by predator Garry
Newman, a 50-year-old man with a catalogue of more than 200 teen
personas.
She was beaten to death and suffocated in the sand at
Port Elliot, before being dumped in the sea. Carly could still be with
us had the laws been different back then.
Today, South Australian
senator Nick Xenophon and Victorian senator Derryn Hinch will introduce a
new bill aimed at tackling the loophole letting paedophiles chat with
teens with impunity.
The Senate will debate a slightly-altered
version of a 2014 bill that was defeated for being “too broad in its
application”. It was feared at the time that by targeting every adult
impersonating a young person it might capture individuals who were
intellectually disabled or who were not grooming children.
Ms Ryan
says that is ridiculous. She says the law protects the wrong people and
no other young person should suffer the way her daughter suffered.

Adelaide Advertiser, February 22, 2007.
Adelaide Advertiser, February 22, 2007.Source:Supplied
Adelaide Advertiser, October 20, 2009.
Adelaide Advertiser, October 20, 2009.Source:Supplied

CARLY FELL IN LOVE WITH BRANDON

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It started like any other online friendship. They chatted about life and school and it soon became something more.
Carly
confessed after months of emails and online messages that she was
developing feelings for Brandon. Her mother says she believed it was
genuine.
Hovering over his keyboard, Newman preyed on Carly’s trusting nature. He also plotted a cunning plan to introduce himself.
He
acted the part of Brandon’s father and convinced Sonya Ryan the pair
should meet. He said he was travelling through South Australia and
wanted to drop off some gifts from Brandon to Carly.
When he
arrived at the family home, all appeared to be above board. Then, with a
single glance at her daughter, Ms Ryan knew something was terribly
wrong. She kicked him out, confiscated her daughter’s phone and hoped
that was the end of it. Sadly, it was not.
Days later, Newman
returned. He lured Carly to the beach and murdered her. He was caught
less than two weeks later. When police stormed his home, he was back on
the computer chatting to a teen from Western Australia.
Newman was
jailed for life with a 29-year non-parole period in 2010. The
sentencing judge, Justice Trish Kelly, said the crime was a “terribly
cruel thing you did to this beautiful, impressionable child.
“I
say ‘child’ because that’s what she was — a child who fell in love with
the idea of the handsome, musically-inclined and rather exotic Brandon
Kane,” the judge said.
“The real man was an overweight, balding, middle-aged paedophile with sex and murder on his mind.”
Newman
appealed a year later but that was tossed out. Five years down the
track, Sonya Ryan is still fighting for her daughter and for all the
other young people who still need protecting.

Garry Newman had more than 200 aliases.
Garry Newman had more than 200 aliases.Source:Supplied

‘IF IT SAVES ONE CHILD, IT’S WORTH IT’
“Every single day is really hard without her,” Ms Ryan told news.com.au.
“It’s
a terrible feeling of separation and real missing. That doesn’t go away
it just becomes longer with time. She’s with me every day in the work
that I’m doing. I’m really channelling what she would’ve wanted me to do
and trying to make sure her suffering wasn’t for nothing.”
The grieving mother set up The Carly Ryan Foundation, a non-profit charity promoting internet safety, shortly after Carly’s death.
She has the support of Senator Xenophon and more than 64,000 signatories on a change.org petition, but remains uncertain of the bill’s success. It won’t stop her from pushing ahead with her plans.
“Current
grooming laws address criminal sexual abuse of a child after it’s
happened. Carly’s Law would give more power to police to intervene
before the abuse happens.
“Any bill that has to do with protecting
children, anything that’s going to be in a benefit of our future
generations, is a good thing.”
In 2013, when Senator Xenophon
first tried to introduce Carly’s Law, he said not enough is being done
to protect children from predators on the internet.
“Carly
believed she was meeting a 20 year old man she’d fallen for,” he said.
“Instead, she met with a predator who murdered her.
“There is no
good reason why an adult would deliberately mislead a minor about their
age, except to make themselves seem more approachable. This bill
provides an extra safety net, so that predators can be caught before
they can meet with kids in person.
“What happened to Carly was a
tragedy,” Nick said. “While nothing will ever take away that pain for
her family and friends, I hope this bill can go some way to making sure
our children are better protected by the law.”

Sonya Ryan has dedicated her life to ensuring some change comes from her daughter’s tragic death.
Sonya Ryan has dedicated her life to ensuring some change comes from her daughter’s tragic death.Source:News Limited

‘I HOPE HE ROTS FROM THE INSIDE OUT’
Ms
Ryan launched a personal safety app titled “Thread” in October aiming
to help children and teens stay connected and better deal with unsafe
situations online.
Thread allows users to check in with their
location to show they’re OK, offers a secure environment to speak with
contacts and sends their location while they’re dialling 000.
Parents and children can set times to check-in at an agreed location or event.
If a user does not check in, the app can send an alert with the child’s GPS location.
After Newman was sentenced, Ms Ryan said she would “never forgive the monster”.
“I
hope that he suffers, that he rots from the inside out, that he sees
Carly’s face every morning and is haunted for the rest of his miserable
life,” she said.
On Tuesday, she told news.com.au she can’t “stand by and do nothing”.
“When you go through suffering like Carly went through, and like we’ve gone through, you can’t want to stand by and do nothing.”

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Senators back Carly’s Law

To contribute to seeing Carly’s Law become a reality, visit http://www.change.org/carlyslaw. For information about Thread, email info@carlyryanfoundation.com or visit http://www.carlyryanfoundation.com

 

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