A FORMER New South Wales policeman who took advantage of vulnerable single mothers to rape and abuse boys has been sentenced to 16 years prison.
Manuel Gonzalo Pando Siguas was sentenced in Maroochydore District Court this afternoon, after pleading guilty to 73 serious sexual offences
He pleaded guilty to 76 charges in total, including 17 counts of rape, five counts of maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child, 34 counts of indecent treatment of a child under-12.
The court heard how Pando Siguas, a 64-year-old Peruvian-born Australian preyed on pre-pubescent boys.
Six victims were identified in total, including three brothers.
Pando Siguas was a NSW police officer from 1998-2000, and then joined the Lion's Club Aunties and Uncles program as a mentor.
It was in that role he gained access to young boys, preying on single mothers who were seeking male role models for their children.
The offending took place over 18 years, and the court heard horrific details of his crimes, including how he plied his victims with alcohol and supplied them gifts and money, or threatened them, to secure their silence.
Defence barrister Simon Lewis said his client had clearly a "perverted sexual interest" stemming from sexual practices in his family as a young boy.
Crown Prosecutor Sarah Dennis said Pando Siguas' actions had a "significant, devastating, ongoing effect" on his victims in what she said had been "egregious" breaches of trust throughout "persistent and prolific" offending.
Judge Gary Long noted the significant periods of time involved with the victims, noting there were "little mitigating factors".
"Your offending is representative of your abhorrent paedophilic interest in young boys," Judge Long said.
He said Pando Siguas' offences could be compared against the "worst examples" of such offences, before sentencing Pando Siguas to 16 years in prison.
Pando Siguas must serve 80% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, after Judge Long declared the five counts of maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child as serious, violent offences.
The 553 days spent in custody pre-sentence were declared as time already served.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.