Many years ago I covered the Aboriginal issues beat for a regional daily paper in Australia, and it was the most depressing subject I've ever had to deal with. My inability to find a legal way to report the abuse of an Aboriginal youngster counts as one of my greatest failings as a journalist. And Australia's shame just goes on and on.
Jenissa Ryan, 15, was the great-granddaughter of the revered Albert Namatjira, Australia's first celebrated Aboriginal painter. Was.
Police believe Jenissa was bashed by a teenage boy and a girl - almost her own age - as she walked the Alice Springs streets on the last Friday night in January. It may have been the injuries she sustained in this attack that killed her.
Attempting to walk home to the Hidden Valley camp, she collapsed unconscious in the gutter near the college. It was there that three teenage boys found her in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Police have testified that the boys thought Jenissa was drunk or dead. Instead of calling for help, they dragged her 10 metres behind a knoll on the verge of the college grounds and raped her. Discarding their condoms, they left the scene.
...Nobody knows how long Jenissa Ryan lay unconscious in the fierce morning heat as her life slipped away. But by the time ambulance officers arrived, honey ants were beginning to gather on her dishevelled clothes.
That means a number of residents of middle-class Grevillea Drive probably noticed. ...It was not until around 10.30am that a female college employee called for an ambulance.
Now it has made the national media - two months later.