Facebook sex page creator appeals

The creator of a “Benders root rate” Facebook page has appealed a six-month suspended sentence imposed against him in the Bendigo Magistrates Court last month.

Josh Turner, 25, set up the “root rate” page in June last year posting sexually degrading comments about people as young as 13.

Turner made admissions to a Bendigo Advertiser journalist a short time later, and was subsequently arrested and charged by police.

On July 31, he pleaded guilty in the Bendigo Magistrates Court to charges of using a carriage service to offend and using an online information service to publish objectionable material.

Turner told police he created the page “out of boredom” and because there was “nothing to do”.

Magistrate Ian von Einem said he was compelled to use Turner’s case to send a message to those who might be of a mind to set up similar sites.

“The penalty on this charge (using a carriage service to offend) can be two or three years’ jail,” he said.

“The message has to be sent that anyone who is going to set up these kind of pages is looking at a jail term. 

“If we don’t take a strong stand against this in court then people will think they can get away with it.

“They think it’s a bit of fun but it’s not a bit of fun, it’s abhorrent.” Mr von Einem also placed Turner on a community corrections order for 15 months, including 150 hours of community work and a sex offender assessment.

But on August 8 Turner lodged an appeal against both the suspended sentence and CCO.

An appeal will be held in the County Court at a later date.

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