Qld - Former Labor M.P. Keith Wright guilty of child rape, paroled in 1999
Former Labor MP and Baptist lay preacher, Keith Wright, was a strong moral campaigner — deeply religious,
opposed to pornography and a vehement defender of children and their need for protection.
As it turned out, children would need protecting from Wright, the former
Queensland state Opposition leader and member for the federal seat of Capricornia,
with a sexual bent towards adolescent girls.
Wright was arrested, tried by jury and found guilty of one count
of rape, one count of indecently dealing with a girl under 14,
and four counts of indecently dealing with a girl under 16.
His victim had been aged 13 when the abuse, which occurring between
1983 and 1985, first began. At the age of 16, when the girl
involved tried to break off their relationship, Wright, refusing to take no for an answer,
raped her in her own bedroom.
Wright received an eight year jail sentence for these crimes in 1993
then, a year later, his sentenced was increased by 12 months after a
second trial for more sex offences.
In the second trial, involving another victim — an 11-year-old girl
when Wright began molesting her — he was found guilty of one count
of indecent and unlawfully dealing with a girl aged under 14, between 1984
and 1986, and two counts of indecent dealing with the same girl in 1989 and 1990.
Wright was eventually paroled on 11 June 1999, after serving only five years of
his sentence, and has now launched a new phonetics-based 4S literacy program for
children on the Gold Coast.
Wright has said that promoting his literacy package is a
chance for him to “contribute to the community”.
Child Sex Offender May Sue
Convicted child sex offender
may take legal
action over a ban preventing him from promoting his literacy
courses to Queensland schools.
State Education Minister Anna Bligh last week described the 61-year-old
former prisoner as an "inappropriate person to be associated with our
Mr Wright's solicitor Andrew Boe today raised the possibility of legal
action to overturn the ban.
"There may be decisions made by officials here which are reviewable
because they are taking into account irrelevant factors," Mr Boe told
"The fact is, his product is not harmful to children."
Mr Wright, a former state opposition leader and federal Labor member
for the central Queensland-based seat of Capricornia, was sentenced to
nine years' jail in the 1990s for sex offences against two girls.
He was released on home detention in February 1999 before being granted
Mr Boe said Mr Wright had only been to a school on one occasion to
promote his literacy program and that was after hours.
"The 24 teachers at the school did not wish to make the travel to where
he was and they asked him to go to the school," Mr Boe explained.
"He's never been in the school during school hours ... when children are
Mr Boe said Mr Wright simply wanted to be able to market his product.
"He doesn't want to have a right to go into schools," Mr Boe said.
"The excitement comes because he is a person with a significant
profile and a political history.
"The current government might be a little bit concerned because of
the fallout politically if they don't do something.
"But the bottom line is, sexual offenders are in the community."
Mr Boe said Mr Wright had a right to earn a living.
"If you have served your time the community expects that you go on
with your life," he said.
"It is safer for the community that convicted sex offenders are
transparently working in the community and not living in a marginalised
"There's a significant degree of research that suggests that the likelihood
of re-offending is dramatically decreased if the person has a functioning
community within which to re-enter."