A West Australian man serving a 40-year jail term in Texas for sexually abusing children at a summer camp has made a plea to Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to help his appeal against what he describes as his "wrongful and illegal incarceration".
Scott Zirus, originally from Pinjarra, was jailed in the US in 2010 after accepting a plea deal over allegations he assaulted three boys while working at the Camp Stewart for Boys in Hunt, Texas, as part of an international exchange program.
He was convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child, sexual contact with a child, and continuous sexual abuse of a child younger than 14, and will have to serve at least 20 years of his sentence until he is eligible for release.
In a letter to _The West Australian _, Zirus revealed he intends to argue his innocence to the US Court of Appeals, claiming he was "illegally interrogated" by police before his confession.
And he is demanding Australia supply a US lawyer to oversee his case, a request sent to Ms Bishop's office last month.
"The reason for this request is that consulate officials lack the requisite knowledge of constitutional and Federal appellate law to recognise an error," Zirus wrote.
Ms Bishop's office confirmed the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was monitoring Zirus' case.
"The embassy will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance to Mr Zirus," a department spokesman said.
Zirus claims that if he is not supplied a lawyer, Australia will be "failing its duty to affirmatively protect his rights".
From his prison cell in Abilene, Texas, he has launched a website and Facebook page pleading his innocence.
Zirus was accused of molesting several boys at the camp while sleeping in the same room.
Camp Stewart and Camp America, who employed Zirus, have since settled lawsuits for more than $8 million after being sued by Zirus' American victims.
He is also facing an arrest warrant in WA over 10 alleged offences against four boys at the Grassroots Ventures camps he ran in the Peel region between 2006 and 2008.