News State Queensland Ex-mayor Paul Pisasale admits sexual assaults

Ex-mayor Paul Pisasale admits sexual assaults

Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale's case was heard in a Brisbane court. Photo: AAP
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Former Ipswich mayor Paul Pisasale has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman, official corruption and unlawful possession of a drug.

The 69-year-old sexually assaulted the same woman in his mayoral chambers at the Ipswich City Council in December 2016.

“The offending by the defendant in all respects undermined the council and position of mayor for his own benefit,” prosecutor Sarah Farnden said on Thursday.

“(The victim) described the power difference with him as lord mayor …. (which) made her very scared.”

Pisasale appeared in Ipswich District Court, where he previously admitted 28 counts of fraud, which relate to his time in office.

He also previously pleaded guilty to one count each of official corruption, perjury and secret commission by an agent but a suppression order prevented media reporting it.
This has now been lifted.

The official corruption charge relates to Pisasale agreeing to champion a Yamanto real estate project while mayor by influencing council workers and contractors.

At the time of his committal in September 2019, the perjury allegation stemmed from a Crime and Corruption Commission investigation hearing in May 2017.

Pisasale was also accused at the hearing of giving false testimony at the CCC hearing with regard to carrying packages from interstate for barrister Sam Di Carlo.

He was also alleged to have dishonestly applied for his own use a $10,000 cheque and $51,292 worth of tools that were supposed to be given to charity.

Pisasale was a popular mayor credited with the “renaissance” of Ipswich during his tenure from 2004 to 2017.

He resigned in June 2017 after 13 years in the position following a CCC raid at his office and home.

He was previously sentenced to two years’ prison, suspended after 12 months, after being convicted of extortion in 2019.

The hearing continues with sentencing submissions.

He is expected to be sentenced next Wednesday.

-AAP