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Friday, April 6, 2018

David Hogg found guilty of sexual assault



By the Specialist Reporting Team's Alison Branley


For more than two decades Helen McMaugh kept dark memories of a sexual assault she endured as a teenager buried deep inside.
That was until she saw her perpetrator being lauded in a major newspaper.
The man was David Benedict Hogg and he was being awarded for his work as the founder of the non-for-profit organisation Lifestyle Solutions.
The multi-million-dollar charity cares for 1,200 adults with disabilities and 300 foster children in group homes across the country.
"I was absolutely horrified," Ms McMaugh said.
She thought authorities knew about the former Baptist youth minister's past.
Hogg was banned from Ms McMaugh's high school in 1988 when the principal discovered Hogg had sexually assaulted Ms McMaugh while she was doing work experience with him.
In 2010, when Hogg appeared in the media, Ms McMaugh began making calls.
"That was when I found out that nothing has been done. It had just been covered up by everyone, by the church and by the school," she said.
Hogg, now aged 65, has been convicted of sexually assaulting her while she was a student at Carlingford High School, in Sydney's north-west.
During the trial the court heard Hogg had acknowledged he took the schoolgirl on a Friday night drive to counsel her, but he denied he took her to the Harbour Bridge and denied touching her at all.
His defence argued he was watching football at the house of another girl's family.
At a sentencing hearing on Thursday, Hogg continued to maintain his innocence and said he "absolutely" did not sexually assault Ms McMaugh, but accepted he had been found guilty.
He said he'd been medicated for depression since he was charged, and had become embarrassed and paranoid when going out in public.
"I think it's had a great emotional and psychological effect [on me]," he said.
The court heard that since charges were laid, Hogg had lost his position on a number of community and not-for-profit boards, and was last week expelled from the board of Lifestyle Solutions following his conviction.
He was also affected by extensive media coverage of his case, which he "did not think was necessary".
"I feel embarrassed and ashamed by the coverage and how that was associated with me," he said.
Hogg's sentencing hearing will continue in May.