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Australian columnist Andrew Bolt has copped severe backlash on social media for an opinion piece with a controversial headline.
While the content of the op-ed focused on how Australian men are being convicted of child sex offences, only to have them overturned, the headline was understandably shocking.
Bolt asked his readers 'Why Elderly Australian Men Keep Getting Jailed For Raping Young Boys?'
Anyone scrolling on their smartphone would have gone wide-eyed and probably would have spat out their coffee if they simply saw that statement.
However, once you scratch the surface, you'll realise Bolt wasn't calling for non-jail sentences for child sex offenders, but instead more scrutiny during witness statements in child sex cases.
The columnist was an ardent and vocal supporter of Cardinal George Pell during his court case that convicted him of child sex offences before it was ultimately overturned and the high ranking Catholic was acquitted.
The issue that sparked the eye-grabbing headline was the case of former maths teacher Trevor Spurritt.
Last year, he was sentenced to five years and eight months behind bars for allegedly raping four boys in the 1970s. However, Victoria's Court of Appeal overturned the sentence last week and claimed there were issues in the evidence given.
In Bolt's op-ed he said: "Ah-ha! Four 'victims' seems too many for a jury to doubt, right? And in a witch hunt, that's how it works: the plural of allegation becomes 'proof'."
The issue of convicting people accused of child sexual offences obviously needs to be dealt with seriously and with sensitivity.
However, there were plenty of people on social media who found the headline unnecessarily triggering.
Following the outrage on social media, the headline was changed to 'How Many Will Be Condemned Before Hysteria Cools'.
Many thought it was too little too late though.
Featured Image Credit: Sky News Australia
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