TROY Ronald Walker was a Bible-loving, God-fearing Christian who impressed fellow churchgoers with his passion for helping troubled youths.
He will spend at least 10 years in jail after convictions for sexually abusing young people for more than two decades, including inciting a teenage boy to have sex with a 14-year-old girl while he photographed them.
Walker, 45, was convicted of offences against six young people in the Lake Macquarie area after he used his associations with the Salvation Army and an evangelical Christian church to gain access to children through their families.
A woman sobbed in Sydney Downing Centre Court on Monday as Judge Peter Zahra told how Walker had sexual intercourse with her after meeting the girl’s mother at Bible study. He offered to counsel the girl because she kept running away from home. The court heard the girl was sexually abused by her father.
The girl believed she was “the bad one” and blamed herself because “I was always told people who go to church are good people”, she said in a victim’s impact statement. After sexual abuse by her father and Walker she believed that she was “placed on earth for men to have sex with me”.
Walker sexually abused a brother and sister after their parents separated and the mother sought help in Bible study. Walker photographed the girl, 14, and a teenage boy after inciting them to commit a sexual act.
The court heard Walker forcibly sexually assaulted a girl, 13, in her bedroom as her parents were on a “welfare run” for the Salvation Army. Walker’s offending did not end until late 2013 when he was arrested and charged with offences against a boy.
Walker was guilty of “an insidious persistence of predatory sexual assault against young children with a disregard for the impact on his child victims”, Judge Zahra said.
“The trust placed in him was founded on his association with the Salvation Army and church and Bible groups. He took advantage of that trust to gratify his sexual attraction to children.”
The court heard Walker, who worked at hospitals in the Newcastle area and as an administrative assistant at a university, received character references from the Salvation Army and the university.
Walker pleaded guilty to offences against two children, but denied offences against other victims.
Judge Zahra noted reports saying Walker “appears to have no insight into the gravity of his offending” and showed no contrition.
Walker received a maximum sentence of 13 years’ jail. His earliest release date is April 2024.