Sex offence heard

A BUNDABERG businessman accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday.

The 51-year-old man, who cannot be identified, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault.

His solicitor, Jack Pappas, told the court his client intended to plead guilty to the charges and said the matter could be dealt with in the magistrates court, rather than going to district court.

But Magistrate Jennifer Batts was unsure if the charges could be heard in her jurisdiction, because she was not sure the alleged offences were of a sexual nature.

“The indecent aspect is of a sexual nature and we accept that is so,” Mr Pappas said.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens also said the incident was an alleged sexual offence.

“In my submission, your honour has got the capacity to adequately deal with this matter,” he said.

The court was told the magistrate could veto the plea at any time before the case was finalised and send the case to district court.

Mr Pappas said the accused also hoped to change his bail conditions to make contact with the boy’s parents.

Magistrate Batts allowed the bail change, so long as contact with the parents was made in the form of a letter from the man’s solicitors.

She adjourned the case until June 11.

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