Victim confronts ‘monster’ dentist who raped her
Retired dentist Peter James Agnew has been jailed for seven years for raping a young dental nurse, who courageously fronted court to tell him the “guilt and shame” were now his to carry.
The woman sat in the witness box at Brisbane District Court this morning just metres from Agnew, who groomed, drugged and raped the 19-year-old when she worked at a Stafford clinic in 1980.
“Today I am taking all of the shame and guilty I have carried and I am placing where it belongs, with you,” she said through tears.
“It’s now yours to carry and be aware, it is a heavy burden.
“I’m doing this for all the girls who don’t have a voice.”
Agnew, 68, blew a kiss to his daughter as he was led away from the dock.
During a judge-only trial, Agnew was found guilty of rape and indecent assault he committed against the young nurse.
During six months she worked at the clinic, Agnew groomed her by showing up at the young employee’s house at night uninvited, showing her porn and groping her as she was sterilising equipment.
One evening he agreed to give her a filling after hours.
He gave her nitrous oxide until “she felt really dizzy, light-headed and disorientated” before he held her down and unzipped her pants – stopping only when her friend walked into the room.
Agnew must have felt “emboldened” by this attack, because one night when the girl was closing up he pushed her to the ground, pulled down her underwear and raped her, the court was told.
“She kept saying no over and over again,” prosecutor Sandra Cupina said.
“She was kicking the door and she was crying.”
Afterwards, Agnew threatened to “blacklist” her if she told anyone.
She quit the next day.
The woman only spoke about the rape for the first time in 2015 after confiding in a partner.
In 2016, she confronted Agnew while wearing a listening device but he denied everything.
At court today, the woman said she believed the reason Agnew preyed on her was because she had autism and found it difficult to read social cues.
She said since his horrific attack she has lost countless relationships, has been unable to work since 2015 and used the last of her savings to install security cameras at her house.
“You stole my trust in humanity and my children suffered … because I know better than most that monsters hide in plain sight,” she said.
Agnew’s barrister Jeff Hunter spoke of Agnew’s privileged upbringing, attending Brisbane Boys’ College, studying at University of Queensland and later in London and Scotland.
The court was told of his “long and distinguished” career and nine character references who spoke of his offending being “inconsistent” with his otherwise good behaviour.
Mr Hunter said since being in custody, Agnew had been held in protective custody after an inmate threatened to harm him.
Judge Deborah Richards said his offending was “contemptuous and despicable” particularly given his authority.
“The position that you held made you confident and brazen in your behaviour,” she said.
Agnew was sentenced to seven years’ jail and will be eligible for parole on January 10, 2024.
Originally published as Victim confronts ‘monster’ dentist who raped her