Leeann Rodgers kept an ugly secret for 36 years, but now
she's helped put the paedophile who abused her behind bars.
Leslie James Young, 63, has been jailed for three years after
admitting seven charges of sexually abusing girls aged under
Three of those charges related to Mrs Rodgers - then
11-year-old Leeann Collins - who he attacked in her Spreydon
home in 1977.
Young's historic offending against Mrs Rodgers came to light
while police were investigating complaints of sexual abuse
against another girl.
He also pleaded guilty to four charges involving that child.
Young's bid for name suppression failed at his sentencing,
but Mrs Rodgers has waived her right to automatic suppression
to persuade other victims of sexual abuse to step forward.
She told her mother what happened the morning after she was
molested by Young while he was baby-sitting her.
"I said to mum 'should you keep a secret if it's a bad
secret?' She said 'no'. She pretty much stopped it right
there because she knew straight away.
"I believe Dad went over and spoke to him and he just denied
The police were not informed.
"Les told me that what he doing to me was what happened to
girls who were naughty and bad,'' Mrs Young told The Star.
"He told me it was our secret. If I didn't keep the secret,
he would come back and do it again, or he might even kill
Mrs Rodgers said she lived in fear of her attacker after she
told her mother what Young had done.
"I just thought he was going to come back and get me some
time. That one night destroyed my life totally.''
Mrs Rodgers said she never told anyone else about Young's
abuse and kept her dark secret until police contacted her
last June during their investigation into his latest
"Nobody really knew the extent of what he'd done except Les
and me. Nobody ever asked me about it.''
Mrs Rodgers said she wanted to encourage anyone with a
similar "secret'' to contact police.
"They need to know that it's not like it was years ago.
There's so much support there now.''
She said the support she received was "amazing''. The police,
Victim Support and courts had been "absolutely brilliant''.
In her victim impact statement read to the court at Young's
sentencing, Mrs Rodgers said the sexual abuse had affected
She said Young continued on with his life without giving a
thought to the damage he'd done.
She'd been married three times because she'd never been able
to "hold a relationship together properly'' and had attempted
suicide many times.
"It was assumed that I was odd or seeking attention, but I
knew I was trying to get away from Les and the nightmares and
pain he caused.''
- By Cullen Smith of The Star