Teen footy star taped girl in sex act, uploaded online

A TOOWOOMBA teenager had secretly taped his 15-year-old girlfriend performing a sex act on him which he then uploaded onto a social media site, the city's Magistrates Court has heard.

The 17-year-old, who is not named so as to protect the identity of his then girlfriend, had used his mobile phone to tape the event without the girl's knowledge on March 17.

He had then sent the 10-second video to a mate's mobile phone, police prosecutor Julia Wheaton told the court.

Two days later, when on his football team's bus to the Gold Coast, the teenager had used his mate's mobile phone to upload the video to the team's Facebook site without his mate's knowledge.

When the victim girl, a Year 10 student, found out about her boyfriend's betrayal she had gone to police, the court heard.

Senior Constable Wheaton said the girl admitted to performing the act but told police she had not known she was being filmed.

With his father watching on from the court gallery, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to one count each of making and distributing child exploitation material.

Snr Const. Wheaton said the prosecution accepted the defendant was very young and his offending could be "viewed in the light of immaturity" but submitted it was very serious offending which had left the victim child distressed.

The teenager's solicitor, Claire Graham, told the court her client had no previous criminal history at all and his offending had had serious consequences already.

The teenager had been expelled from his high school when the incident became known and he had not been able to finish his Year 12 studies, putting to an end his plans of a university degree.

His promising sporting career was now in tatters and an NRL club contract had been torn up, she said.

Her client, who was "incredibly remorseful", was awaiting the outcome of the court proceedings before accepting the offer of an apprenticeship.

In three character references put before the court, people spoke highly of the defendant.

Ms Graham said sexual offences against children ordinarily brought a term of imprisonment unless "exceptional circumstances" could be found which she submitted was the case in these circumstances.

Acting Magistrate Roger Stark noted that the first count carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail while the second had a maximum of 14 years.

However, accepting it was out of character and noting the defendant's youth, lack of criminal history, early guilty pleas and the consequences he had suffered, Mr Stark found there were exceptional circumstances in this case.

He ordered the convictions not be recorded and ordered the teenager to complete 120 hours of unpaid community service.



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