Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Convicted Sex Offender Admits to ‘Intimate’ Child Photography

Ronald Van Der Plaat

Ronald Van Der Plaat

Ronald Van Der Plaat, 78, a Dutch-born man convicted in New Zealand for the 23-year incarceration, rape, bondage and torture of his daughter, 9, has been found in violation of the terms of his parole. According to his parole, Van Der Plaat, who was released from prison after serving 10 years of a 14-year-sentence, is barred from spending the night away from his home, and from unsupervised contact with children under 16. Additionally, any person supervising must be approved by the court.

In September 2012 Van Der Plaat was recorded by surveillance cameras at a museum, “walking beside a girl of Asian descent holding her hand.” Investigation revealed that the girl was 4, and that Van Der Plaat had stayed overnight with her at a motel on three occasions where he took pornographic photos of her. Van Der Plaat was charged with violating his parole by having unsupervised contact with the child, staying away from his home overnight three times, having contact with the child at the motel and of taking intimate visual recordings of the child at the motel. Van Der Plaat pleaded guilty to the first three violations in November 2012, and to the last in December.

Van Der Plaat’s crimes against his daughter came to light after she fled their remote island home with the man that she would ultimately marry. Once safely out of reach, she notified authorities of her father’s abuse. At the time he vehemently denied the allegations, and police were skeptical that a person could be so violently abused for so many years without anyone knowing. A search of Van Der Plaat’s home, however, turned up hundreds of nude photos of his young daughter, as well as the bondage equipment exactly as she had described. Van Der Plaat pleaded not guilty, and was convicted in 2004. Absence of any laws protecting victims from their abusers, however, gave him license to legally harass his daughter from his cell, filing a lawsuit against her for fraud, which her mother bankrolled.

Van Der Plaat was convicted in 2004, but jailed before 2002, so old legislation governing parole of prisoners was applied to his case. Under the old legislation, he was entitled to parole unless there had been disciplinary action in prison, or unless a special request was made. How this will affect the judge’s decision at Van Der Plaat’s February and March 2013 hearings is unclear.

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