Masterchef Australia finalist Paul Frost is jailed for 24 years as disgusting details emerge about his crimes against 11 children as his victims bravely speak out and he learns his famous father is NOT his dad
A MasterChef Australia finalist who sexually abused 11 children he coached at a swimming school has been jailed for a minimum of 24 years.
Paul Douglas Frost learned his fate at Sydney’s Downing Center District Court on Thursday, more than four years after he was arrested.
Judge Sarah Huggett sentenced Frost – who starred in the first season of the Network Ten show – to a maximum prison 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 characterized by its ‘escalating severity and brutality’.
“He moved from one victim to another whenever he wanted,” she said.
Sydney swimming coach and MasterChef Australia finalist Paul Douglas Frost has been sentenced to a minimum of 24 years in prison for sexually abusing 11 children over the age of 13
Frost was found guilty by a jury on 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 when she was first abused, the eldest was a boy whom Frost had abused until he was sixteen.
Judge Huggett said Frost had never acknowledged his crimes and placed no value on 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 in relation to all 43 offences,” Judge Huggett said.
“There is no evidence that would allow me to conclude on balance that he is remorseful or remorseful.”
“Each of the victims has suffered and unfortunately continues to suffer as a result of the crime.”
Frost, who made it to the final of the first series of MasterChef Australia (above) in 2009, was attacked in July when he arrived at the Shortland Correctional Center in the NSW Hunter Valley.
Judge Huggett said Frost had shown no apparent concern about his depravity being exposed in the 10 years leading up to his arrest.
“He escaped justice for decades and enjoyed life in the community, free from defamation and punishment for his crimes,” she said.
Frost appeared in court via audiovisual link from Shortland Correctional Center in the Hunter Valley, dressed in prison greens and sporting a moustache.
Frost believed for most of his life that his father was Ian Thorpe’s swimming coach, Doug Frost (above)
He did not react noticeably when Judge Huggett handed down his sentence.
The court heard the 48-year-old had grown up believing he was the son of famed swimming coach Doug Frost, who guided Ian Thorpe to three of his five Olympic gold medals.
The divorced father of two did not discover until he was 40 that his real biological father was a man he had considered a family friend.
Most of Frost’s offenses took place at his swim school in Sydney’s south-west, in the changing rooms, kickboard room, swimming pool and pool deck.
Some of his victims had told Frost’s court that they encouraged children to talk about sex and masturbation, which led to him touching them and them touching him.
“Paul had built a culture where this sort of thing was normal when we were his age at the swimming club,” one said.
“I wanted to be with the boys, I wanted to be with the cool kids.”
After attacking another boy, Frost drove him home and said, “You know, we can’t tell anyone about this, we’re both going to 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 told about the allegations against him, he fell to the ground and told police: ‘That’s disgusting’
Judge Huggett described Frost’s crimes – which took place when he was in his early 20s to mid-30s and some involved penetration – as ‘opportunistic, impulsive and spontaneous’.
“The perpetrator created an environment … to facilitate his offending,” she said.
“He normalized and encouraged discussion of sexual matters, and endeared himself to the students so that they viewed him as a colleague… 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 very warm swimming coach and mentor.”
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 thought he was in love with the predator.
Judge Huggett said: ‘Some felt they had some responsibility for participating in something they believed was wrong.’
Frost, who was a finalist on MasterChef Australia in 2009, is pictured with judge Gary Mehigan
Frost was first tried in August 2022, but that jury was subsequently dismissed 16 days of deliberations amid allegations of bullying and bickering.
During the course of the second trial, a non-publication order was in place, preventing the media from reporting on the evidence presented at the hearing.
Nothing could be published beyond the facts that Frost had pleaded not guilty to 43 charges relating to 11 complainants, and his trial continued.
That order was revoked after Frost was found guilty and three months later, five of his victims provided statements explaining the damaging effects his crimes had on them.
“I feel sick when I think about what I did, the way you looked at me and the fact that you took advantage of me and the way I let you influence me to become someone that I am not,” she said a male victim.
“The crimes you committed are the worst kind and you were the worst kind of predator.”
Another male victim said he was “broken” and could no longer “fully love people.” A third described how Frost had grossly betrayed 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,” the boy said.
Frost was arrested in September 2019 at the home he shared with his wife Ivana, then the national food manager for furniture and homewares giant IKEA, in Sylvania in Sydney’s south.
When Frost was told about the charges against him that day, he had fallen to the ground and told police, “That’s disgusting.”
Frost initially faced ten charges, including aggravated sexual assault of a child under 16, but was ultimately convicted of 43 offences.
He was found guilty of twelve counts of sexual intercourse with a child aged 10 to 16 under his custody, sixteen of aggravated indecency with a child under sixteen, and nine of incitement to aggravated indecency with a child under sixteen.
Frost was initially charged with 10 offences, including aggravated 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 aggravated sexual assault of a child under 16.
Each of these offenses carries a maximum penalty of five to 10 years in prison. Two other counts of grooming a child for unlawful 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 that they could apply to have their names removed from the jury list and that they would receive 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 at Shortland Correctional Center in July and was being held in custody.
Frost reached the final of the first series of MasterChef Australia in 2009, but was unable to capitalize on the attention his performance brought him.
A food venture Frost started with his wife failed, leaving him bankrupt in 2016. The couple separated in 2017/2018 and divorced in 2021/2022.
After his arrest, Frost was fired from his temporary jobs at the University of NSW and Malabar Public School in Sydney’s south-east.
The earliest possible release date for Frost is June 3, 2047.