No quick-fix for paedophilia, court hears

2013-01-23 21:41
Johannes Kleinhans (Picture: Die Burger)

Johannes Kleinhans (Picture: Die Burger)

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Cape Town - There is no fast cure for paedophilia, a social worker involved in the treatment of sex offenders told the Parow Regional Court on Wednesday.

Dr Marcel Londt testified for the defence in the trial of convicted paedophile Johannes Kleinhans, 74, who faced sentencing on 95 counts.

These included sexual assault on two pre-pubescent girls and the possession of child pornography.

Dr Londt told magistrate Amanda van Leeve that Kleinhans's affliction was "not a problem that could be addressed overnight", and long-term imprisonment was not conducive to effective treatment.

She heads a specialised anti-child abuse treatment programme called the Child Abuse Therapeutic and Training Service (Catts).

She told the court Kleinhans's period of incarceration, whilst awaiting trial, had in itself already addressed the deterrent aspect of treatment.

However, prison was not the best environment to deal with the other aspects.

"We need strict control over his treatment, in order to make it very difficult for him to re-offend. The effective management of his treatment would also involve his family."

Although Kleinhans was out on bail, this was revoked due to a violation of the bail conditions.

Although Londt "remained guarded" in her prognosis of Kleinhans, this did not mean he could not be treated.

She said the Catts programme was not "broad therapy", and needed very strict control, which was impossible in prison due to general staff shortages.

She said a professional such as herself could not just walk freely into the prison, to reach the patient within minutes. With staff shortages, it could take up to four hours for her to reach her patient for a one-hour consultation.

Londt said Kleinhans had during consultations admitted to the regular use of pornography during many business trips abroad.

She listed appropriate conditions for effective treatment such as: no contact with children under the age of 18, and no unsupervised access to minors, including his own grandchildren. Kleinhans should also not be permitted to drive, unless accompanied by a trusted adult.

When questioned by prosecutor Herculine Swart, Londt said the Catts programme ran for 36 months, and did not offer 24-hour monitoring.

"We cannot play detective," she said.

The trial continues on Thursday.

- SAPA

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