The cult leader Kenneth Emmanuel Dyers could not have sexually assaulted two girls because he suffered erectile dysfunction, his lawyer told Sutherland Local Court yesterday.
Dyers, 83, of Bundeena, a co-founder of the group Kenja, is accused of committing sex offences against two 12-year-old girls.
With his wife and Kenja co-founder, the former actress Jan Hamilton, among 20 followers present for the hearing, the police prosecutor, Sergeant Paul Upsall, alleged the offences took place during one-on-one "energy conversion sessions" at Kenja's Surry Hills offices between December 2001 and July 2002.
But Dyers's lawyer, Harland Koops, said it was impossible for his client to maintain an erection and he was a victim of a campaign to destroy him by "bitter and disaffected" former followers.
Mr Koops said Dyers had fought and defeated in the High Court an unrelated sexual assault allegation in 1993. Applying for bail, Mr Koops said: "There will be contrary medical evidence indicating that Mr Dyers has had erectile dysfunction for almost 15 years."
Mr Koops questioned the girls' credibility. "Social experiences, I would submit, [suggest] 13-year-old girls from the eastern suburbs [his accusers' current age] know what is right or wrong in terms of approaches from 80-year-old men who engage in contact of that kind. It's impossible."
Mr Koops said Dyers had never run from the past allegations and was not a flight risk, but a sick man. He had a lumbar condition, emphysema, incontinence and deep-vein thrombosis. Despite objections from police that the court should look "to the safety of the community", the magistrate, John Bailey, granted Dyers bail to reappear on December 20.
Outside court, Dyers read a statement: "This is a frame-up, no question. Another attempt to destroy me and Kenja. I am innocent. As long as my health holds up I will fight these bogus charges."