A family court expert in Australia has been charged with sexually abusing three children. The development could lead to contact decisions previously made using the expert’s reports being overturned.

The psychologist was hired as a Family Court expert to make contact recommendations in cases where one parent had accused the other of sexual abuse.

In one report, the court psychologist – who has not been named – recommended that a child continue to live with the father after the mother raised allegations of sexual abuse, telling the court he found no significant evidence the abuse had occurred.

The news comes after research showed judges were far more likely to award contact to a parent after they make an allegation of parental alienation in cases where the other parent brings up an allegation of child sexual abuse.

The suspect remains on bail and the case’s next hearing is scheduled for October.

The article, which was published by Australia’s ABC news outlet, also talks about concerning problems inside Australia’s care system, which mimic the UK care system’s challenges.

The topics include unfit registration processes for expert witnesses which allow individuals to write up expert reports without the necessary qualifications, to an inability to get complaints properly assessed because ombudsmen continuously claim they do not have the power to investigate them.

Further reading:

Many thanks to Charles Pragnell for alerting us to this case.