Rachel Queen Burton: Man who sexually abused children began identifying as a woman to 'mask' his offending

Tuesday 6 February 2024

A man who sexually abused two children and drove their family from their home began identifying as a woman in an attempt to "mask" his offending, a court has heard.

Rachel Queen Burton, 44, from Coolalinga in Australia's Northern Territory, pleaded guilty to producing and possessing child exploitation material, gross indecency and indecent assault.

A District Court in Adelaide heard impact statements from his victims, a boy and a girl, and their older brother and mother, while he watched via a video link from a male prison.

Rachel Queen Burton began identifying as a woman in 2022

Burton sobbed as the children's mother recounted harrowing details of the abuse that began in 2019, after which he set up a TikTok account publishing videos of his new life as a woman.

His account bio describes him as: "Rachel Queen a proud Trans Woman living my best life with no regrets". At the time of his arrest in 2022 he had amassed 34,000 followers and 418,500 likes.

The mother told the court: "You are a gross, phony, self-indulgent thing who has cheated my children out of so much, and took it away from them without care.

"In your online rants, you showed no remorse for your bad behaviour, all the while knowing what you had done. Getting an audience for your false life was far more important."

"You can wear any mask you like, but the truth is out and everybody knows who you really are, finally."

The family moved into a safe house after the abuse came to light, but Burton "showed up at the window, peering in," forcing them to move again.

Describing him as a "monster" who made her feel "sick to her stomach," the mother added: "Being homeless was extremely gruelling, the worrying was relentless, but you were online having the time of your life."

“No food, scared children, too scared to go anywhere, never knowing if you could find us. When the children did sleep, nightmares haunted them,” she said.

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Her daughter told the court: "I feel angry at you for doing the wrong thing to me. I felt like a bird trapped in a cage, all I wanted was to be free. I still worry you will find me."

The girl's brother said he struggled to sleep at night due to chronic nightmares: "I'm always worried you are going to turn up somewhere, and this makes me feel terrified."

Their older brother, who was not abused by Burton, still suffers from the trauma endured by his siblings, which he described as "repulsive, filthy and vile". 

Burton will be sentenced in April.