News

Man guilty of molesting child, 12, at sleep-over

AN IPSWICH father has been found guilty of molesting a 12-year-old girl at his daughter's sleep-over.

The Laidley man, 44, had pleaded not guilty at Ipswich District Court to one count of rape and three counts of indecent treatment against the girl, but was convicted of one count of molesting the girl.

After the jury had delivered its verdict, Judge Greg Koppenol sentenced the man to nine months jail, but fixed no parole release date.

Crown prosecutor Caroline Marco told the jury the man had assured the victim's older sister his wife would be at the party, but he did not have a wife.

Ms Marco said the man lured the girl there on false pretences with promises of junk food and movies.

The jury was told the man was hosting a sleep-over with his daughter and some of her friends on December 3 last year when he molested the girl while the group was watching the movie Hop.

The man begged the girl to allow him to massage her and asked to have a shower with her, but she resisted.

The girl told the jury she was lying on a sofa bed watching movies with the man and other friends when he molested her.

In a cross-examination by the man's defence barrister, Steve Kissick, the girl said the man had asked to give her a "wedgie", where a person's underpants are pulled up and "wedged" between their buttock cheeks, and tried to pull her pants down.

The jury was told the man left her with the feeling he had "deliberately perved" on her.

She testified the man pulled her pants down, but she resisted, and she felt "a nudge", meaning it was either his finger or another body part which she felt in her buttocks area.

The girl told detectives the offending happened four times throughout the night and the jury found him guilty of doing it at least once.

Another child witness said she thought it was "weird" the man was spending time alone with her friend and she also heard her saying "stop it", but she couldn't actually see anything because the man had turned the lights off.

The girl said she had never felt threatened when visiting the man before the incident.

The jury retired on Tuesday afternoon and managed to reach a verdict on one of the counts about 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Topics:  child rape, ipswich district court



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