50yo gets probation for kissing young teen
A CENTRAL American who has lived in Australia for 15 years has been sentenced over an incident where he Salsa danced with his girlfriend's 13 year old daughter, told her he loved her and kissed her.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent treatment of a child on February 4, 2020, and was sentenced in Rockhampton District Court on April 6.
The defendant, who works for a mining company in Central Queensland, was supported in court by his current defacto partner.
Crown prosecutor Tiffany Lawrence said the defendant, 50, had no criminal record and had not been held on remand for this offence.
The offence took place at the victim's home more than 12 months ago.
Ms Lawrence said the defendant had been asked to help with a renovation of a room and was left alone in the room with the victim for a short time.
The court heard the defendant offered to show the girl how to do some of his native dances and had demonstrated the Salsa with her before changing the dance, putting her up against a wall.
"He looked into her eyes and asked her if she knew what the dance was," Ms Lawrence said. She said he continued with the Salsa dance, told her he loved her and kissed her on the forehead, cheeks and then the mouth.
Ms Lawrence said the defendant told the victim not to tell her mother or he would get into trouble.
The court heard the victim told her mother who confronted the defendant and he said there was a misunderstanding.
Defence barrister Jordan Ahlstrand said his client, who has two grandchildren and four children, had grown up in Central America where his father was an Anglican priest.
He said the defendant was one of four children and he was the only one to have left his home country.
Mr Ahlstrand said his client did not use illicit drugs and drank alcohol infrequently and in moderation.
Judge Michael Burnett said the defendant had been in a relationship with the victim's mother for four to five months prior to the incident.
He said on the day of the incident, the victim's siblings were in the house along with her mother, but were in other rooms.
Judge Burnett sentenced the defendant to a 12-month probation order with no conviction recorded.
He outlined the reason why he ordered no conviction included a conviction being recorded meant the defendant would be subject to sexual offender reporting guidelines for eight years, this offending was at the very low end of sexual offending and the defendant had no prior criminal record for any type of crime.