Police parade DV offender as ex-bikie poster boy
The ex-bikie paraded as a poster boy for gang reform in a Queensland Police documentary was a known reoffender who bashed his pregnant girlfriend after the documentary was filmed but before it was released.
The Courier-Mail can reveal Queensland Police knew former Rebels bikie and ex-Titans player Dan Kilian - who was touted as a role model to reduce "rates of violence, reoffending and victimisation" in a new documentary last week - was facing serious assault charges.
He is due to be sentenced in April for the brutal bashing of his then-partner in August 2019.
He is also charged with strangling and choking her - months after the documentary was filmed.
While Queensland Police knew about Kilian's new offences a spokesperson said that the offending was not disclosed "so as to protect the privacy and confidentiality of the victim".
The victim and advocates are outraged by the release of the video, which portrays Kilian as a reformed offender, saying Queensland Police has "sent a message that domestic violence is not as important as other crimes".
Despite him currently being on bail for the ongoing domestic violence offences and pending sentencing in April, the government and AFP released the extended video interview on Thursday as part of their new 'exit program' for bikies.
In the video, Mr Kilian speaks about how he grew up in a home with domestic violence and how he reformed his life since leaving prison in 2017.
His former partner is calling for a public apology from QPS and said she was told the angle of the documentary would be changed as a result of Mr Kilian's offending.
QUEENSLAND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICES
"It was going to be transparent about the current situation he was in," she said.
"They were going to change the attention to the other guy (Ben Geppert) and take the spotlight off Dan as his current actions aren't one of someone who had reformed and unfortunately he had relapsed."
The victim said she was angry and disappointed with how Queensland Police portrayed her offender as reformed.
"I put my complete faith in police when making the extremely difficult and emotionally distressing decision to come forward … it just seems very inappropriate and very insensitive to the matter, to me and my family," she said.
"Fundamentally the QLD Government and AFP are promoting their cause whilst deliberately not telling the whole story as it doesn't fit their narrative.
"Dan did try to reform himself but that was made how long ago? If you look at everything that happened from then until now that's not the same person unfortunately.
"The Exit Program initiative is a positive but not at the expense of victims of domestic violence."
Women's Legal Service Queensland CEO Angela Lynch said Queensland Police had sent a message that violence against women was not as important as rehabilitating Mr Kilian for his bikie crimes.
"It sends a message that domestic violence is not as important as other crimes and of course that's the message we've been trying to stop over decades," Ms Lynch said.
"How can a program be successful if they've stopped that public crime but they are engaging in violence in their home."
Police Minister Mark Ryan said police were looking into the matters raised by The Courier-Mail.
"I was expressly asked by the Police Commissioner to take part in the launch of this new Queensland Police Service initiative," he said.
"I will always strongly support the victims of domestic and family violence and condemn the perpetrators."
Red Rose Foundation CEO Betty Taylor said it was unacceptable Queensland Police had used a domestic violence offender as an example of a reformed bikie.
"Anything that doesn't highlight it and have a really strong message against it is not on," she said.
"We can't be putting up people, be it bikies or anyone, and say they are reformed if they are not.
"I can see police wanting to get some positive mileage about people leaving bikie gangs but not at the expense of a woman's safety, that's not okay at all.
"Strangulation is one of the most lethal forms of behaviour, we call it the mark of a killer, it's not just some minor offence."
The victim is now very concerned about the impact the highly-publicised video interview may have on Mr Kilian's sentencing.
A Queensland Police Service spokesperson said they had liaised with the victim throughout the production and release of the video but regretted if the video had caused any concern to the victim or her family.
"The production featuring Dan Kilian focuses on the impact of his involvement in an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang and exposes the subsequent challenges, including his own relationships."
Police denied that the videos portray ex-bikies as role models, the spokesperson said.
"As part of the OMCG Exit video series, police are soon to commence production of a story featuring the risk to women in relationships with OMCG, again looking to protect persons at risk."
Originally published as Police parade DV offender as ex-bikie poster boy