A man in his 70s who used his position of power to sexually abuse two young boys has been spared an immediate jail term.
On the first occasion, he picked up an 11 or 12-year-old boy from a Mount Beauty home - while wearing his police uniform - and pulled the boy's hand onto his erect penis as they rode on his motorbike.
He then took the victim back to his Bonegilla farm where he masturbated while lying with the boy in a single bed.
The second victim was 16 when he stayed at Page's Wodonga home and was made to touch the police officer's penis for an hour.
Page had pleaded guilty to two counts of incident assault of a male under 18.
Judge Richard Smith handed down his sentence in Wodonga County Court yesterday, giving Page a three-year jail sentence to be wholly suspended.
The Crown prosecutor had accepted a suspended jail term was within reason.
The two victims reported the crimes as adults as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2017.
This was not the only time Page had sexually abused boys - he had also been found guilty of more crimes that started in 1978, but said he "never physically harmed any of the boys".
Judge Smith said this was an argument that is no longer accepted by professionals dealing with child abuse victims.
He also rejected Page's claim he tried to tell police about the 1975 sexual assaults back when he was being investigated in 1978, but the officers had ignored him.
"It's doubtful that you'd make such a statement to police," Judge Smith said.
He agreed that after more than 30 years of no further offending, Page was a low risk to sexually assault any other victims.
Page kept his head down and eyes closed through much of the judge's comments yesterday, but looked up to hear the sentence being handed down.
He will now be placed on the sex offender registry for the next 15 years.
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