Disgraced former NSW Labor minister and sex offender Milton Orkopoulos is set to be released from prison despite using drugs in jail earlier this year.
Orkopoulos was on Friday paroled after serving 11 years for 30 convictions including supplying cannabis and heroin, sexual intercourse with a male between 10 and 18 years, and possessing child pornography.
The now 62-year-old abused three male victims aged 15 to 20 after plying them with drugs and alcohol while serving as a Lake Macquarie City councillor and NSW MP between 1995 and 2006.
He was arrested in 2006 while he was NSW Aboriginal affairs minister in the Iemma Labor government and was jailed in Febuary 2008 for 13 years and eight months. His non-parole term expired in February 2017.
The Serious Offenders Review Council and Community Corrections recommended he be released on parole because it would allow him to access treatment and supervision he would not otherwise receive.
The State Parole Authority, chaired by Justice James Wood, granted him parole on conditions including avoiding the company of anyone aged under 16 without adult supervision and not visiting the Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions.
He will also be subject to electronic monitoring and placed on the child protection register.
"The only way in which he can have a supervised and assisted transition back into the community is via parole release," Justice Wood said on Friday.
"Refusal or deferral of parole is likely to increase any risk of institutionalisation."
Orkopoulos incurred four institutional misconduct charges while in prison - two for failing drug tests in December 2015 and February 2019 and two for receiving prohibited goods from a visitor in 2009 and 2013.
He failed a drug test earlier this year after testing positive to buprenorphine, an opioid used in the treatment of heroin and methadone dependence.
A treatment report prepared in 2018 said he was "in the average risk range for committing a further sexual offence", however he had made progress and "claimed accountability for his actions".
His offending was described as "premeditated, predatory and manipulative" and all involved abusing his position of power.
Orkopoulos was introduced to one of his victims by the victim's grandparents at a Labor party function before supplying him with cannabis, heroin and alcohol, and having sex with him in a park.
Another of his victims was in year 10 when he met him at a bus stop and offered him a lift home. He gave him cannabis and sexually assaulted him in his office.
His third victim was offered work experience at his electorate office before he was given drugs and indecently assaulted.
He was also found guilty of possessing child pornography for downloading a document from a website titled "Men in Boys" which detailed sexual activity involving 12-year-old boys.
He will now be released to live in Corrective Services accommodation and his lawyer Omar Juweinat said he faced a period of adjustment.
"Today's decision accurately reflected what the position is. There's no crystal ball involved in granting of parole and it's very much a calculated risk. They took the option to grant him parole having considered all the evidence," Mr Juweinat said.
Australian Associated Press