Depressed woman sitting on a chair in dark room at home. Lonly , sad, emotion concept.
Depressed woman sitting on a chair in dark room at home. Lonly , sad, emotion concept.

Girl 'touched and kissed' at shopping centre

A MAN who inappropriately touched a 15-year-old girl, forced her into his lap and made her kiss him at a Gold Coast shopping centre has walked from court with no prison time.

Jake Michael Owins, 22, pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court to two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

Crown prosecutor Jessica Guy said Owins was 19 when he met the 15-year-old girl on Facebook in December 2015.

About seven weeks later he arranged to meet the girl at a Coolangatta shopping centre.

Ms Guy said Owins pulled her on to his lap, tried to kiss her and touched her inappropriately.

She said the girl told him she was "not sitting on his lap" and she was "not going to kiss" him but he still touched her.

"The offending seems to contribute to the trauma she has experienced," Ms Guy said.

"The defendant had some impact on her.

"During conference she did say she doesn't want to see anyone go to jail, she just wants to see (Owins) get the help he needs."

The girl told Owins she wasn’t going to kiss him.
The girl told Owins she wasn’t going to kiss him.

Defence barrister Sarah Thompson said Owins, who was 19 at the time of offending, had severe intellectual disabilities.

She said he had a head injury at the age of seven and was diagnosed with autism at nine.

The court was told Owins, who lives at Tweed Heads, had an IQ of 50 or less.

Ms Thompson said psychologist reports found Owins at 22 had a sexual understanding of someone in their teenage years.

"In my submission his understanding in relation to consent and unlawful sexual activity would have been less (at the time of the assault)," she said.

The court was told Owins was on a disability support pension and undergoing a program to learn landscaping.

Judge David Kent sentenced Owins to two years probation.

No conviction was recorded.



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