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Tasmania Police officer Paul Reynolds groomed 52 young boys, report finds

Pulse Tasmania
Tasmania Police Commissioner Donna Adams. Image / Pulse

52 young boys were “at minimum” groomed by pedophile policeman Paul Reynolds over his three-decade career, with an unknown number of them sexually abused.

Warning: This story contains details of sexual abuse which may distress some readers.


The statistic made public by Tasmania Police on Thursday follows months of investigations by independent reviewer Regina Weiss.

In her 70-page report, Weiss said Reynolds used “sport as a hunting ground”, identifying and pursing the “vast majority” of his victims across football and basketball teams he coached, umpired and administrated.

“The position of trust he was able to cement in sport from as early as the 1980s until his death in 2018 gave Reynolds the opportunity to befriend, groom and sexually abuse teenage boys,” the report states.

Independent reviewer Regina Weiss. Image / Pulse

“His position in the community as a senior police officer assisted him in establishing trust with members of the sporting community, including parents and guardians, who allowed Reynolds to coach and transport their children to and from training and games and before and after school.”

The review heard that Reynolds would, among other tactics, offer and perform massages on teenage boys under the guise of therapeutic assistance while they were naked or wearing just underpants.

“The review found no evidence of Reynolds’ holding accreditation in massage or sports therapy and even if he had, the conduct he was engaging in with teenage boys ranged from entirely unacceptable in some cases, to criminal conduct in others,” Weiss wrote.


Tasmania Police Commissioner Donna Adams said 84 people chose to engage with the review, including 15 victim-survivors of Reynolds.

“It is incredibly distressing to learn the full extent of his offending and the impact his abhorrent behaviour had on the victim survivors, their families and the wider community,” Adams said.

“I am deeply sorry for the pain and trauma you experienced and how it continues to affect you, your families and loved ones.”

Tasmania Police Officer Paul Reynolds. Image / ABC News

“I am deeply sorry we failed to protect you from harm because we didn’t see an abuser among us.”

Adams said seven referrals have been made to Tasmania Police that relate to other former or serving officers, but that there was no evidence of any sexual offending involving a child by any current serving police officer.

“The review has made five recommendations and Tasmania Police accepts them in full,” she said.

Tasmania Police Commissioner Donna Adams. Image / Pulse

Weiss recommended Tasmania Police establish a redress scheme for victim survivors of Reynolds’ grooming and abuse and that the force takes steps towards improving trust and relationships with sport organisations and vulnerable community groups.

The review also recommended a dedicated victim management team which operates separately of the Professional Standards Unit be setup to support victims of reported police offending or misconduct and recommended Tasmania’s Integrity Commission be reformed so allegations of police officers grooming or sexually abusing people can be properly investigated.

Sexual assault support services:
Sexual Assault Support Service (Tasmania): 1800 697 877
1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732
Sexual Assault Counselling Australia: 1800 211 028
Bravehearts (support for child sexual abuse survivors): 1800 272 831
Laurel House Northern Tasmania: (03) 6334 2740
Laurel House North West Tasmania: (03) 6431 9711
Blue Knot Foundation: 1300 657 380

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