A Townsville builder will not serve any jail time despite being convicted of sexually assaulting women in their home while there to make repairs after the Townsville floods in 2019.
- Builder William Emanuel Camilleri pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual assault and his 12-month sentence was suspended
- Some of the women assaulted by the 48-year-old hired him to repair flood damage
- His victims are angry that Camilleri escaped from prison. “He ruined my life,” said one of them.
William Emanuel Camilleri, 48, was given a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to eight counts of sexual assault, some before the Townsville floods.
The offenses were committed against five women between May 2016 and March 2019.
Camilleri ran his own construction company, WEC Constructions.
Three of his victims were seeking repairs to their homes after the 2019 floods.
One of her victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the ABC the conviction was a “disgrace” to survivors of sexual assault.
“This is not what we wanted,” she said.
She said she left town after being assaulted by Camilleri in 2016.
“I packed my bags and moved from Townsville,” she said.
“I blocked it completely.”
Camilleri’s offenses included touching the breasts and buttocks of his victims and kissing them without consent.
In one of the assaults, Mr Camilleri put a hand on the upper neck of a woman, rubbed her back and cupped her buttocks.
The impact statements read in court reflected the emotional turmoil inflicted on each of the women.
“During the whole time of the repairs, I felt like a prisoner,” said another.
The offense occurred while Camilleri was carrying out renovations or repairs when the women were home alone or, in some cases, with dependent children.
District Court Judge John Coker said the assaults had a “lasting impact” on the five victims.
He said the women were “vulnerable not only because they were alone but desperate for the job to be done.”
Mr. Camilleri was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with a full suspended sentence and was released from court after sentencing.
Prosecutor Molly Mahlouzarides said Mr Camilleri made “sordid” or “flirtatious” comments to the women.
“This led to unsolicited assaults on each of them by kissing them on the lips, cupping their buttocks or stroking their breasts,” Ms. Mahlouzarides said.
“Every woman was reluctant to confront the accused or officially report the case because she was desperate to have her house repaired [following the floods] finished without delay. “
Mr. Camilleri apologized publicly through his lawyer to each of the complainants.
“He had no intention of causing emotional distress but accepts that he did,” defense attorney Justin Greggery said.
“Either way, he immediately gave up when the non-consent was verbalized.
“No threats have been made against the plaintiffs to report the matter.”
The judge said Camilleri had no criminal history and was unlikely to reoffend.