Rapist jailed for repeated abuse of 10-year-old stepdaughter
The behaviour of a Coast man who raped and abused his 10-year-old stepdaughter has been described as "abhorrent" by a judge
The 47-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, indecently treated the girl in her family home between 2015 and 2019.
Crown prosecutor William Slack said the man told the girl he was checking to see if she had been "tampered" with when he entered her room at night to undress her, lick her breast and rub her vagina.
The court heard he raped the girl when he penetrated the girl's vagina while licking her genitalia.
Mr Slack said the man returned to the girl's bedroom the next morning to continue the offending.
"On this occasion he took her underwear off before exposing his penis, he laid down between her legs and rubbed his penis directly against her vagina, skin on skin," he said.
The court heard the man later began maintaining a sexual relationship with the girl In November 2017.
Mr Slack said the girl described being "humped" regularly throughout 2018 and into 2019.
"On his own admission, your honour, it happened every night he was home," he said.
During the abuse the man had the tip of his penis in the girl's mouth.
Mr Slack said the man also tried to put his penis in the girl's vagina but stopped when the girl turned away from him in pain.
The man told police he was thinking about having sex with the girl on another occasion.
" … (He) described as coming close to penetration that he was thinking about it and that he was physically trying to do it," Mr Slack said.
In April 2019 the man told the girl's mother about his offending and voluntarily went to police, who were unaware of the offences, on May 3, 2019.
Mr Slack said the man should serve one third of a five to six-year prison sentence.
"The offending involved exploitation of a young girl who he was in position of trust and authority over as her stepfather," he said.
He said the man maintained the sexual relationship for a prolonged period and escalated his offending when he attempted to rape the girl.
The man pleaded guilty on two separate court dates to three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12, rape, attempted rape, maintaining a sexual relationship with a child and indecent treatment of a child under 16.
Defence Barrister Nathan Turner said, given his unusually high level of co-operation, the man could be given a five-year prison sentence suspended after 12 to 15 months.
Mr Turner said the father of three was taken from his parents as a three-year-old and suffered sexual and physical abuse while in foster care.
The court heard he started drinking heavily in 2016 but had since stopped.
"He was able to appreciate he is in the position he is in because of choices made while being heavily affected by alcohol," Mr Turner said.
Psychological and psychiatric reports before the court detailed the man's serious mental health issues.
He was described to be in a "fragile mental state" and suffering from advanced alcohol related psychosis, complex post traumatic syndrome depression and the severe depression.
Mr Turner said the report said there was a link between the man's mental health and his offending.
"His mental health in my submission does reduce his culpability and your honour may mitigate if you are minded that they do," he said.
He said his client was engaged in a rehabilitation program with Department of Veteran Affairs and saw a psychiatrist on a monthly basis.
The reports also showed that the man's mental health issues would make him more of an obvious target in prison.
Mr Turner said he would not be able to continue his rehabilitation with the Department of Veteran Affairs in custody and the conditions would be harsher for him than others.
Judge Glen Cash said he understood the man's psychiatric psychological make up contributed to his offending.
"It's abhorrent behaviour that a person, who is in the position of a parent to a young child, would exploit that position to commit sexual offences against them," he said.
Judge Cash noted the man's high level of co-operation and remorse.
He was sentenced to five years in jail.
The sentence will be suspended for five years after the man serves 15 months.