Content warning: This article contains reference to sexual assault. Please refer to the services at the bottom of this article for support.

 

An Indigenous tour guide who claimed he could heal women through sex has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for sexually assaulting six women over a period of four years.

Joseph Luke Williams, 58, was found guilty of 12 counts of sexual assault in a Western Australian court in March despite maintaining his innocence throughout the nine-day trial.

Williams formerly operated Denmark’s award-winning Poornarti Aboriginal Tours in WA’s South West, where he represented himself to his victims as an Aboriginal Elder who could heal trauma and improve fertility.

He told his victims, who were aged 18 to 34, that he could treat childhood sexual trauma and that his semen had magical stalker-deterring powers.

Judge Christopher Peter Stevenson said during sentencing at Albany District Court last Monday that Williams had groomed his victims who had put their trust in him.

“The situations that Williams orchestrated ensured there was no opportunity for informed consent,” Judge Stevenson said.

“You preyed upon vulnerable women who were seeking solace in spiritual healing and guidance, on the basis of what you represented to them.”

The court also heard a pre-sentencing psychological report found Williams showed no remorse for the assaults.

He will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

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By Hannah Cross