STRANGER DANGER: Disabled woman assaulted at bus stop
A COURT has heard the shocking details of how a man sexually assaulted a young disabled woman at a bus stop.
Chetan Khatri, 36, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg District Court yesterday to two counts of sexual assault.
He appeared in the courtroom via videolink from the Coffs Harbour Local Court as he was unable to travel to Bundaberg because of border closures.
Crown prosecutor Steven Dickson told the court the man and the victim were not known to each other.
After 10.30pm on May 2 in 2018, Khatri arrived at a bus stop where the victim was waiting for a bus to Brisbane.
He started talking to the victim and sat down next to her, putting his arm around her.
Khatri then leaned in and kissed her putting his tongue in her mouth.
Mr Dickson said the man also touched her breast, thigh and bottom and tried to put his hand under her dress.
Another person sat down at the bus stop before Khatri invited the victim to meet him behind the toilets but she declined.
Khatri was arrested in November 2018 but did not spend any time on remand for the offence.
Mr Dickson submitted to the court the offending was aggravated by the fact the pair were strangers and the victim was in a vulnerable position.
The court heard Khatri had no prior recorded criminal history at the time her committed the offences.
Khatri's barrister Nick Larter told the court his client came to Australia in 2008 from India to study.
Mr Larter said after Khatri father passed away in 2010 he stopped studying as he could no longer afford to continue.
He said his client's plea came at a timely opportunity.
Judge Jennifer Rosengren took into account Khatri's plea of guilty and accepted it came at a timely opportunity.
She also took into account the facts and submissions from the prosecution and defence.
Judge Rosengren said the fact the victim was a stranger and vulnerable aggravated the offending.
"All cases of sexual assault are serious and considerations of general deterrence feature prominently in the sentencing process, in my view it's of paramount consideration here," she said.
"I accept the submission from the crown that the aggravating features here are the fact the complainant was in a vulnerable position by virtue of her impairment and that you were a stranger to her."
Khatri was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment which was wholly suspended for two years.