Child abuse generic
Child abuse generic

’You are hot’: Businessman assaults girl, 10, at sleepover

A Capricorn Coast businessman has been jailed for indecent treatment of his daughter’s 10-year-old friend while she was sleeping over and watching scary movies.

Judge Jeff Clarke said a concerning factor was the defendant, 54, told the victim “you are hot”.

“What happened here was, perhaps, every parents’ nightmare,” he said.

The defendant first touched the child’s thigh, then slipped his hand under her shirt and touched her stomach before saying “you are hot” and then moving his hand up to touch the child’s breasts.

He then asked the child if he could kiss her breasts, to which she responded no and he stopped touching her.

The girl told her mother six months later, in a letter, about what the man did.

The man pleaded guilty in Rockhampton District Court on March 5 to one count of indecent treatment of a child under 12.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O’Rourke said the defendant had nothing of a like nature on his criminal record, of which the most recent entry was from 20 years ago and involved pinning a woman to a wall and punching her in the stomach.

She said the indecent treatment offence took place at a residence in the Rockhampton region sometime in August 2019.

Ms O’Rourke said the victim was a friend of the defendant’s daughter and they were having a sleep over.

She said the defendant and the girls were watching a scary movie and when the defendant’s daughter fell asleep, he touched the victim.

The mother of the victim wrote a victim impact statement.

“It’s clear the offending has had an impact on the young child and the mother, including day to day life such as participating in (sports),” Ms O’Rourke said.

Defence lawyer Grant Cagney said the defendant still had the support of his wife whom he had been married to for 18 years.

He said his client had run his own business on the Capricorn Coast for more than 20 years.

The court heard when police spoke with the defendant, he denied all of the allegations, saying he only poked the girl to highlight the drama in the movie.

Judge Clarke sentenced the man to six months prison to be suspended after serving two months and operational for two years.



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