News

Magician's evil tricks lured kids

Franky Houdini faces up to six years in jail after pleading guilty to sexually abusing under-age girls.
Franky Houdini faces up to six years in jail after pleading guilty to sexually abusing under-age girls.

AN IPSWICH magician who dubbed himself “the man no jail can hold!” has been jailed for six years after admitting to sexually abusing under-age girls.

Franky Houdini, a magician and escapologist, seduced the teenage girls with promises of a modelling career, but instead took risqué photos and molested them.

Ipswich District Court was told Houdini, 36, approached a 15-year-old girl at Riverlink and asked if she wanted to do “promotional” work.

They had a sexual relationship for two months and Houdini dressed her in sexy clothing, photographed her and filmed them having sex, telling her he could sell the movie on the “black market”.

Crown Prosecutor Clayton Wallis said Houdini approached another girl in March 2008 and asked if she wanted to be his personal assistant.

She declined, but the girl’s 15-year-old sister called Houdini.

He told her he had a modelling and acting business.

He bought her a “schoolgirl” outfit and took photos of her posing at Lake Moogerah near Ipswich before fondling her.

The girl complained to police, who raided his house in June 2008 to find child pornography, mostly of younger children, the pornographic video and images of the first victim and a sex tape of another girl which was made in New South Wales.

The girl can be heard telling Houdini she is 15 in the movie.

He had also repackaged this into a promotional video on his computer, calling it “Houdini’s Hot Escorts” and named himself as the producer and star.

Police tracked down the girl in the video and she said Houdini also took sexualised photos of her at Lake Moogerah after asking if she wanted to do “modelling work”.

The court heard Houdini is likely to be extradited to New South Wales to face further charges. Houdini also took photos of a 14-year-old girl posing in 2006, telling her he could get her modelling work.

He also admitted sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.

Dressed in his magician’s outfit, Houdini showed her a pornographic movie, kissed her while naked and in front of her mother and that night performed a sexual act over the girl.

Judge Deborah Richards told Houdini he made the offers sound glamorous but it was “all very seedy”.

Houdini pleaded guilty to possessing child exploitation material and nine charges of indecent treatment of a child.

He had pleaded not guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a child and involving a child in making child exploitation material, claiming he did not know she was 15, but was found guilty after a trial earlier this year.

He was sentenced to six years jail and will be eligible to apply for parole on March 8 next year with 810 days spent in pre-sentence custody taken into account.

Houdini read a statement apologising to his victims and at times choked with tears.

Defence barrister Peter Nolan said Houdini found religious solace in jail awaiting sentence.



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