A victim of historical child rapes has broken down in court while describing how his elderly grandmother blamed him for the crimes when he decided to report them decades after the fact.
The man read a lengthy victim impact statement to the ACT Supreme Court on Friday, describing how the abuse he endured as a boy at the hands of John Paul Garay had "ruined my childhood".
He said the crimes had left him in "a perpetual state of torment".
"My childhood innocence was shattered by John," he said from the witness stand, with a support dog by his side.
The man addressed the court as Garay, 61, faced a sentence hearing before Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson.
Justice Loukas-Karlsson found Garay guilty, following a judge-alone trial earlier this year, of two counts of sexual intercourse with a child and six counts of committing an act of indecency on a child.
All of these charges related to the same boy, as did 10 other allegations of which Garay was acquitted.
The offences occurred in the 1980s at Garay's home in Wanniassa, where the vulnerable victim sometimes stayed with him during school holidays.
The victim detailed on Friday how the abuse perpetrated by Garay, a friend of his family, had "thrust me into an adult world well before my adult years".
He said his education had suffered as a result of intrusive sexual thoughts brought on by the abuse, leading him to leave school "barely literate".
The man described being worried he would be sent to hell because he had been taught during his religious upbringing that homosexual sex and sex outside marriage were sinful.
He also detailed numerous impacts on his work, growing particularly emotional when he began to speak about his late grandmother.
The victim said once he had decided to report the abuse he suffered at the hands of Garay, the elderly woman had blamed him because he had not told anyone about it at the time.
He said he could not believe what he was hearing as they spoke on the phone.
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"I felt dirty, ashamed and horrible after that phone call, and I cried," he told the court.
The victim's grandmother subsequently died before they had resolved their differences, and he said he blamed Garay for this unresolved tension.
He also spoke of being "devastated" when Garay pleaded not guilty to all 18 charges, saying the offender's "cowardly" failure to admit what had happened meant he had to be retraumatised by rigorous cross-examination during the trial.
The man's wife also read a statement, speaking of how the victim had been "consumed" by the matter since reporting Garay to police.
"I have lost my husband to this ordeal," she told the court through tears.
"My husband is not the man he used to be, and I doubt he will ever be again. He is distant, withdrawn, and tormented by this trauma."
Justice Loukas-Karlsson said, after hearing the statements, it was clear "there's been enormous impact".
She said she intended to list the matter for sentence hand-down early next year, in order to allow Garay time to make some arrangements ahead of a possible term behind bars.
This followed the 61-year-old's barrister, Margaret Jones, detailing how her client had been "doing his absolute best" to arrange accommodation in a nursing home for his mother and brother.
Ms Jones said Garay was a full-time carer for both of these people, but making the necessary arrangements had not been easy.
She conceded there would need to be a sentence of imprisonment, but she asked Justice Loukas-Karlsson to consider ordering it be served in the community by way of an intensive correction order.
Crown prosecutor Skye Jerome was due to make sentencing submissions on Friday afternoon.
Garay is also to be sentenced on a child exploitation material charge, having pleaded guilty to possessing it after police found such files on a USB during a raid on his home in December 2019.
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