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South East man did everything but ask for teen sex victim’s ID


The then 15-year-old “misled” the defendant to believe he was older, before eventually telling his girlfriend’s mother the pair had engaged in a sex act, the Mount Gambier Magistrate Court heard on Friday.The two had met previously and began sending text messages, photos and videos, with the victim first contacting the man via Snapchat.The young man, who cannot be identified to protect his victim, received explicit videos from the victim but did not send any in return.“Ever had a man? … I want to see you, I want to do bad things to you,” text messages from the victim read.The defendant picked the teen up from his house on January 24, pulling over 20 minutes later where the victim undressed and the defendant performed oral sex.“There was mutual sexual interest between you and the victim,” Magistrate Koula Kossiavelos said.Later the boy’s girlfriend at the time found the messages between the two, leading him to tell her mother about the assault before reporting it to police.The victim declined to provide evidence during an earlier facts dispute hearing or a victim impact statement.Prosecutor Benjamin Sturn said despite the man’s “genuine belief” his victim was older, the man should not escape without a conviction. “There’s been growing recognition … about the serious long term effects about such offending on young victims,” Mr Sturn said.“There is a need to protect young victims from their own conduct.”The openly gay man, who had experienced hardship from a young age, previously pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with person under 17 years.During sentencing Ms Kossiavelos said the defendant felt “pressure” to “commit a sexual act with the victim”.She said he had been misled “while getting to know” his victim who had “talked about a Year 12 project”.“You also made inquiries with mutual friends about the victim and you were assured that he was 17 years old and more,” Ms Kossiavelos said. “The victim did hold himself to be over 17 years of age.“Short of requesting for the victims driver’s licence, what other checks could you have done?”No conviction was recorded and the man was released on a $500 good behaviour bond.Outside of court he was hugged by his family who attended court in support — but declined to comment on the case’s outcome.

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