Man faces carnal knowledge charges

A 45-YEAR-OLD man’s alleged plan to run away with a 15-year-old Rockhampton girl was foiled when police say they found the pair involved in a sex act in his car.

It’s alleged the man told police he had been teaching the girl art and he had to take her to school after authorities came across the car parked near the Rockhampton Ski Gardens about 8.30am on March 18.

When police attended the girl’s school to speak with her she allegedly confirmed the art story and said the man was a family friend.

But police say he wasn’t even known to the family.

Police allege text messages from the man were found on the girl’s phone, calling her “sweets” and telling her that he loved her.

The messages also detailed sexual acts, it is alleged.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, applied for bail in Rockhampton Magistrates Court but that application was later withdrawn.

During an objection to bail, police told the court that officers saw the man climb over the female in the car and get out of the passenger door with no shirt on.

Prosecutor Barbara Barton said he then put a shirt on and went around to the driver’s side door.

She said when the girl didn’t meet her parents after school that afternoon they gave the police a number of letters to their daughter from the man, suggesting an ongoing intimate relationship between the two.

It is alleged the man was urging the girl to move away with him.

Ms Barton said the effect of the relationship was “devastating” for the girl and that she had been manipulated into lying to police about their relationship.

She said she believed the man would attempt to contact the girl if allowed out on bail and as he had few ties to the Rockhampton community there was a danger of him fleeing with the girl.

“He has effectively groomed this child from when she was 13 or 14 years old,” Ms Barton said.

Duty lawyer Danny Yarrow said the man was a pensioner and denied the offending.

Mr Yarrow withdrew the application for bail after becoming aware that the man had eight charges against him, and not two as he had initially thought.

The charges included carnal knowledge and seven other charges related to his alleged inappropriate relationship with the child.

The man did not enter a plea and was remanded in custody.



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