Child sex victims catch assailant in covert police sting
Two women took part in a covert police sting, where one wore a hidden recording device, to collect evidence against a man who had underaged sex with them five years earlier.
The District Court heard the women, who can't legally be identified, were aged 15 years and two months and 15 years and four months when they had sex with the man in separate encounters on the same day in December 2012 on the NSW south coast.
The man was 18 and friends with one of the girl's siblings.
The plan was for the two girls to go "four-wheel driving" with the man and another male.
But the court heard they ended up driving to an isolated surf beach where the man, who is not named to protect the victims' identities, and one of the girls had sex.
After dropping the girl home, the man had sex with the other girl in the vehicle. In both instances, the man asked the girls for sex.
In 2015, the now young women decided to report the incident, feeling "used" by the man, before agreeing to help police gather evidence.
In January 2017 one of the women wore a hidden recording device to the man's workplace and spoke with him in an unsuccessful attempt to capture a confession.
In February 2017, the man texted the other woman, writing: "I never really had the chance to apologise about all that shit.
"I'm sorry for everything me or the boys did or said … it's been on my mind a lot like how young I was and that. Looking back we were all really stupid doing what we did, and I mean all of us, it wasn't fair on you guys at all."
The man was arrested on February 17, 2017 and later pleaded guilty to two counts of sex with a child between 14 and 16.
In her victim impact statement, one of the women told the court she felt "unrespected, unvalued and used".
Judge Andrew Haesler told the court: "The victim impact statements speak to the real, and all too common, impact such offences have on young women; women who want friendship, respect and age-appropriate intimacy, not abuse.
"When young men think only of themselves and their sexual desires they show no respect for young women as equals."
But the judge said it was then a question of how to sentence the man given he was now a more mature person with a career who regretted the incident and had made a decent contribution to society, with his offending limited to one night.
The man was sentenced to a three year community corrections order with 300 hours community service,
Judge Haesler said: "There was no physical compulsion or grooming, just submission to an older man who had the girl in a position of vulnerability because she was alone with him. To the offender each complainant appeared to be a willing participant, notwithstanding her apparent youth."
Has this story impacted you?