A MasterChef Australia finalist who sexually abused 11 children he was coaching at a swimming school has been jailed for at least 24 years.
Paul Douglas Frost learned his fate at Sydney’s Downing Center District Court on Thursday, more than four years after his arrest.
Judge Sarah Huggett sentenced Frost – who starred in the first season of the Network Ten show – to a maximum term of 32 years for committing 43 offenses over more than a decade against children as young as 10 .
Judge Huggett said Frost was sexually attracted to pubescent children and his offending was marked by “his increasing seriousness and brazenness”.
“He would move from one victim to another as his desires dictated,” she said.
Sydney swimming coach and MasterChef Australia finalist Paul Douglas Frost has been jailed for at least 24 years for sexually abusing 11 children aged over 13.
Frost was found guilty by a jury June 14 of sexually abusing 11 former swimming students – 10 boys and one girl – over 13 years in the 1990s and 2000s.
His youngest victim was nine or ten years old when she was first raped, the oldest was a boy Frost had molested until he was 16.
Judge Huggett said Frost never admitted his crimes and gave no weight to character references, including that of a man who claimed the pedophile was “a champion and protector of young people of all ages” .
“The offender continues to maintain his innocence of all 43 offences,” Judge Huggett said.
“There is no evidence that would allow me to conclude, overall, that he is contrite or remorseful.”
“Each of the victims has suffered and will unfortunately continue to suffer as a result of these offences.”
Frost, who reached the final of the first series of MasterChef Australia in 2009 (above), was attacked in July upon his arrival at Shortland Correctional Center in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley.
Judge Huggett said Frost had shown no apparent concern about discovering his depravity in the decade before his arrest.
“He evaded justice for decades and enjoyed life in the community, free of the stigma and punishment for his crimes,” she said.
Frost appeared in court via audio-visual link from Shortland Correctional Center in the Hunter Valley, wearing prison greens and having grown a moustache.
Frost believed that for most of his life his father was Ian Thorpe’s swimming coach, Doug Frost (above).
He did not react appreciably when Judge Huggett handed down his sentence.
The court heard the 48-year-old grew up believing he was the son of famous swimming coach Doug Frost who guided Ian Thorpe to three of his five Olympic gold medals.
The divorced father of two didn’t learn until he was 40 that his real biological father was a man he considered a family friend.
Most of Frost’s offenses occurred at his swim school in south-west Sydney, in the changing rooms, in the kickboard room, in the swimming pool and on the pool deck.
Some of his victims had told the court that Frost encouraged the children to talk about sex and masturbation, which led to him touching them and touching him.
“Paul had built a culture that this sort of thing was normal when we were that age at the swim club,” one said.
“I wanted to be one of the boys, I wanted to be one of the cool kids.”
After molesting another boy, Frost drove him home and told him, “You know, we can’t tell anyone this, we’ll both get in trouble.”
Frost was arrested in September 2019 at the home he shared with his wife Ivana in Sylvania, in Sydney’s south (above). When he was informed of the allegations against him, he dropped to the ground and told police: “It’s disgusting.”
Judge Huggett described Frost’s crimes – which occurred when he was between the ages of 20 and 35 and some of which involved penetration – as “opportunistic, impulsive and spontaneous”.
“The offender created an environment…to facilitate his offending,” she said.
“He normalized and encouraged discussion of sexual issues, endearing himself to students so that they would view him as a peer…rather than an authority figure.”
One of Frost’s victims remembered him as “charismatic and cool”, another as “outgoing” and “quite popular”, while a third said he was “a swimming coach and mentor very warm “.
His only female victim, who considered herself one of Frost’s favorite students, thought he was “young and fun, a cool kid.”
A male victim believed he was in love with the predator.
Judge Huggett: “Some felt somewhat responsible for participating in something they thought was wrong. »
2009 MasterChef Australia finalist Frost is pictured with judge Gary Mehigan
Frost was first tried in August 2022, but that jury was discharged after 16 days of deliberations amid allegations of bullying and bickering.
During the second trial, a publication ban was issued which prevented the media from reporting on the evidence produced at the hearing.
Nothing could be released beyond the fact that Frost had pleaded not guilty to 43 charges involving 11 complainants and that his trial was continuing.
This order was lifted after Frost was convicted and three months later, five of his victims gave statements explaining the harmful effects his crimes had on them.
“I feel sick to my stomach when I think about what I did, how you watched me and took advantage of me and how I let you influence me into becoming someone I’m not,” one male victim said.
“The crimes you committed are the worst and you were the worst predator.”
Another male victim said she was “broken” and could no longer “love people fully”. A third described how Frost had seriously abused his parents’ trust.
“Before I was even a teenager, Paul taught me how to masturbate, I was encouraged to masturbate in a public swimming pool,” this boy said.
Frost was arrested at the home he shared with his wife Ivana, who was then national food manager for furniture and homewares giant IKEA, in Sylvania, in Sydney’s south, in September 2019.
When told about the allegations against him that day, Frost dropped to the ground and told police: “It’s disgusting.”
Frost initially faced 10 charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 16, but was ultimately convicted of 43 offences.
He was convicted of 12 counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged 10 to 16 under his control, 16 counts of aggravated indecency with a child under 16 and nine counts of inciting an indecent act aggravated with a child under 16 years old.
Frost was initially charged with ten offences, including serious sexual assault of a child under 16, committed at a swimming school in the south-west of the city. He is pictured being taken into custody in September 2019.
Frost was also convicted of one count of sexual intercourse with a child aged 10 to 16, two counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged 16 to 17 in special care and one count of assault Aggravated indecency on a child under 16 years old.
Each of these offenses carries a maximum sentence of five to ten years in prison. Two other counts of grooming a child for illegal sexual activity carry a maximum sentence of 12 years.
A jury deliberated for nearly a fortnight before finding Frost guilty.
Judge Huggett told the nine men and three women they could ask to have their names removed from the jury list and would be given counseling if necessary.
Frost, who was out on bail, was handcuffed and taken into custody where he has been since.
The court heard Frost was assaulted in July at Shortland Correctional Center and was in protective custody.
Frost reached the final of the first series of MasterChef Australia in 2009, but was unable to capitalize on the attention that appearance brought her.
A food business Frost started with his wife failed, forcing him into bankruptcy in 2016. The couple separated in 2017/2018 and divorced in 2021/2022.
Following his arrest, Frost was dismissed from casual jobs at the University of New South Wales and Malabar Public School in Sydney’s south-east.
The earliest possible release date for Frost is June 3, 2047.