18 March 2024

Four underage girls repeatedly sexually abused by Snowy Mountains skier Benjamin Wynn

| Albert McKnight

Benjamin Wynn, now 21, appeared in the Queanbeyan District Court on Thursday via audiovisual link. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

A survivor of a Snowy Mountains man who repeatedly sexually assaulted four underage girls over about a year says although he left her with feelings of “grief, humiliation and heartache”, she knows she is more than just his victim.

Benjamin Wynn, a now-21-year-old skier, had turned 18 before he began repeatedly raping the girls, who were aged 14 or 15, in the early 2020s.

One of the three then-15-year-olds said after she had spoken to police about the abuse, she became “angry and harsh” on herself, blaming herself for what happened.

“This whole process has really destroyed me,” she said in a statement for the Queanbeyan District Court.

She was 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.

“All I hope is that Ben is served a consequence that reflects how he treated me and any others that are counted as victims. Good luck, Ben.”

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Agreed facts for the case say that in 2021, Wynn 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.

After he abused the 14-year-old, he sent her a message on the social media application Snapchat asking for her to send him nude photos.

He also told her not to tell anyone what happened between them as he could go to jail and she could get in trouble at school.

For one of the 15-year-olds, Wynn had begun kissing her before she repeatedly told him no when he started taking off her clothes.

“I’ve never done this before. Can we stop?” she said. However, he still raped her.

He 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 victim under 16.

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On Thursday (14 March), Wynn’s barrister, Matthew Johnston SC, told the Queanbeyan District Court that his client, who has been refused bail, had had a “very tough time in custody already” and had been exposed to rather onerous conditions that resulted in his transfer to protection.

Mr Johnston also argued that given his client’s age – he was in his late teens at the time of the offending and was now 21 – his jail sentence should be at the low end of the scale, even though there were four complainants and several offences.

The prosecutor said being in protective custody was “certainly better for him” and conceded there were mitigating factors, like how Wynn had no previous convictions, had shown remorse, pleaded guilty and a report found he had good prospects of rehabilitation.

Justice Peter Whitford will sentence Wynn, who is from a locality outside Jindabyne, on 27 March.

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 or by visiting www.1800respect.org.au. 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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