27 March 2024

Ex-Youth Olympic skier Ben Wynn handed two years' jail for repeated abuse of underage girls

| Albert McKnight
young man wearing a suit

Benjamin Wynn, 21, pleaded guilty to several child abuse-related charges. Screenshot: YouTube.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

A Snowy Mountains man who repeatedly sexually assaulted four underage girls now feels “shame and disgust” at himself for forcing his victims to live with the consequences of his actions.

Benjamin Wynn, a now-21-year-old skier who competed in the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics, was convicted and sentenced to two years in jail with a one-year non-parole period by the NSW District Court on Wednesday (27 March).

He had turned 18 before he began repeatedly raping the girls, three 15-year-olds and one 14-year-old, in the early 2020s.

Agreed facts for the case say that in 2021 he had gone to a sex and relationship education presentation at his school where those present were told that the age of consent was 16.

However, he still went on to repeatedly rape the four girls.

Judge Peter Whitford SC said in one case he disregarded her lack of consent as she had told him “no” and expressed hesitance.

Wynn was arrested in 2022 and pleaded guilty to several counts of having sex with a child between the ages of 14 and 16, as well as one count of aggravated sexual assault against a person under 16.

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In a statement for the court, one of the then-15-year-olds said she had been terrified about going to court and found the process “draining and humiliating”.

“It took me six months to realise that I didn’t need to be scared or embarrassed or sad, but that I needed to be courageous. I had to stand up for myself,” she said.

“I was more than a victim of Ben Wynn and I am more than the initials used to describe what he did to me. From now on, I will only find space in my mind to pity him. I can no longer live with resentment and hate.”

Judge Whitford said he needed to acknowledge the harm caused to the survivors.

“It is clear Mr Wynn has come to an acute understanding of the nature of those harms and the consequences of his offending,” he said.

The judge said he had been 18 at the time of the offences but was still a schoolboy and his age and circumstances meant a different approach was required on sentencing than what would be appropriate for an older offender.

Wynn was still sexually and emotionally immature and naive at the time and Judge Whitford didn’t think his taking advantage of the girls’ ages was done maliciously. He also noted the age gap between him and the girls was relatively close.

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Judge Whitford said the skier had been “a young man on top of the world” with much to look forward to at the time, who had achieved a lot and was looked up to in his community.

He also said there was a degree of extra-curial punishment due to the time he had spent in custody as he had been assaulted twice and others had tried to extort money from his father. He is now in protective custody.

Judge Whitford thought there was no meaningful prospect of him offending again and said aside from sentencing factors like general deterrence, “the community gains nothing from this man’s incarceration”.

Wynn has been in custody since December 2023, and as his sentence was backdated, he is eligible to be released from December 2024.

He was also handed a three-year community corrections order for which he must complete 300 hours of community service.

“Yes, Your Honour,” he replied from jail when asked if he understood his sentence.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre on 02 6247 2525, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call Triple Zero.

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