Stepdad raped girl, 10, after staff Christmas party

HE HAD been her father effectively for nine years before he carried out acts that no little girl should ever endure and that tore the family apart.

The 33-year-old was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court yesterday after pleading guilty to one count of rape and three of indecent treatment of a child.

Crown prosecutor Alexandra Baker said the defendant had been the victim's stepfather since she was 12 months old.

She said on the night of the offending in 2017, the defendant and his family had attended a work Christmas party where he drank alcohol and his partner drove them home.

Ms Baker said the defendant carried the half-asleep 10-year-old from the car to her bed and while carrying her, he placed his hand in her underpants and touched her bottom.

She said he put the girl to bed and then carried her sibling from the car to their bed before returning to the victim.

"He touched her vagina outside her clothes a number of times before moving her underpants aside," Ms Baker said.

She said he moved her legs apart and penetrated her vagina with his fingers.

"This caused the victim great pain," Ms Baker said.

The court heard the defendant left to turn the bathroom light on before returning and "placing his head down there" as per the victim's description.

Tests revealed the victim had saliva in her underpants and she complained of feeling "wet and cold" in her vagina region.

The victim screamed out for her mother and the defendant pushed her back down on the bed, telling her to be quiet.

The victim's mother found the girl distressed and the girl described what happened.

The court heard police were called and the defendant fled for a short time.

"The offending occurred in the family home where the victim should have an expectation of safety," Ms Baker said.

Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said the defendant had worked at the same place for 13 years, had a normal childhood apart from an accident when he was nine years old that led to some learning difficulties and had not met his own child yet from the relationship due to this offending.

The defendant had been on bail for this offending for 15 months before being sentenced yesterday to a head sentence of three years' prison, suspended after 12 months and operational for four years.

He will also spend 18 months on a probation order after being released from prison.

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