MAKO - Australian News - Frank Tesoriero

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Child-sex offender was education consultant

A man arrested and charged with child pornography offences continued working for the Education Department in South Australia until he pleaded guilty, it has emerged.
Education Minister Grace Portolesi said yesterday the convicted child sex offender, Frank Tesoriero, was employed as a private consultant and had no direct contact with children.
"The department require staff to disclose their criminal history; however, this person did not," she said yesterday.
"There are more stringent checks for people who work directly with children. However, I reiterate again that this person did not have direct engagement with children as part of his employment. This case has raised important issues and the department are currently looking at ways to prevent this happening again."
But the opposition said the 62-year-old former Flinders University lecturer was considered an "entrusted person" by the department and had access to information about children and also prepared documents relating to children.
Liberal education spokesman David Pisoni rubbished Ms Portolesi's response, saying it appeared her department "relies on the honesty and decency of child porn offenders to protect children in schools".
"That is unacceptable to any fair-thinking person," he said.
"The department has a clear policy on how such matters are dealt with but it is obvious to me that this minister does not have the motivation to effectively implement it. It is hard to fathom that minister Portolesi's department and the police appear to not have processes in place to protect vulnerable children in our schools from known sex offenders."
The matter, raised in a budget estimates committee hearing in parliament on Friday, resulted in the Education Department and police working on a notification system to raise an alert if any department employee was charged with a sex offence.
Tesoriero, who was named in parliament by Ms Portolesi, was sacked by the department after it learned of his guilty plea in March in the District Court.
"The case has raised important issues with us and we are raising those with police," she told parliament.
Tesoriero was engaged by the Education Department in 2009 and continued to act as a consultant on a community development program after his arrest in April last year.
"He facilitated various sessions with staff, in small groups," Ms Portolesi said.
Tesoriero - a former associate professor at the University of SA and Flinders University - faces a maximum 10-year prison term. He is due to be sentenced later this year.
The court heard he had taken part in online sex chat rooms and downloaded child pornography.

www.theaustralian.com.au (25-6-2012)
Michael Owen

Ex-lecturer's porn shame

Former university lecturer Frank Tesoriero devoted much of his life to helping the disadvantaged.
Yet for years, he contributed to the degradation of children by downloading and sharing child pornography.
Tesoriero - a former associate professor at the University of SA and Flinders University - was arrested in April last year and pleaded guilty in the District Court to aggravated possession and dissemination of child pornography, which attracts a maximum 10-year prison term.
The court heard this week that Tesoriero had taken part in online sex chat rooms and had been downloading child pornography undetected "for years". Tesoriero, of Parkside, left his position at UniSA several years ago and retired from Flinders University in August last year.
A Flinders spokesman said the university was unaware of the Tesoriero's pornography charges until contacted by the Sunday Mail and it immediately terminated any association with him.
Tesoriero's former UniSA profile - removed from its website on Friday - said he had overseen numerous programs to help the disadvantaged and mentally ill. Tesoriero, 62, told Judge David Lovell he realised his offending was "repugnant" and "morally wrong".
The judge remanded Tesoriero on bail so he can continue counselling before he decides whether the sentence should be suspended in September.

www.news.com.au (17-3-2012)

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