ACT News

Canberra man committed for trial on child sex charges

A 59-year-old Canberra man accused of having sex with a teenaged girl and sharing explicit images with her online has been committed for trial in the ACT Supreme Court.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, confirmed on Thursday in the ACT Magistrate's Court he wished to enter pleas of not guilty to the three charges against him.

The man is accused of sending the girl a picture of his penis.
The man is accused of sending the girl a picture of his penis.  Photo: Tanya Lake

He faces two charges of having sex with a child between the ages of 10 and 16, and one charge of using the internet to deprave young people.

The court was told the defendant knew the girl – who was aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged offences – through his partner, who was good friends with the girl's mother.

Police allege the girl's mother had entrusted the defendant and his partner to look after the girl when she left town on business trips.

He is accused of pressuring the victim into opening a Facebook profile over two years between 2013 and 2015, despite this being against her mother's wishes.


Eventually the girl created a Facebook profile. The defendant would send her private messages over Facebook, saying things like "LU", meaning "love you", and "miss you", police allege.

The victim felt she had to respond for fear the defendant would get upset with her, police say.

After communicating with her online, the man allegedly began to express his sexual intentions to her in person and then sexually assaulted her  while her mother was away.

On one occasion, when the accused's partner had left to go shopping, he inappropriately touched the girl while watching television, police allege.

He told her it was "OK" and warned her not to tell anyone.

On one trip when the defendant had travelled away for work, he sent her a photo of his penis and asked her to send an image of her vagina back, which she did, police say. The defendant asked her to delete all messages to her straight away.

The defendant bought the victim lip balm, body wash and clothing. On one occasion he took her shopping and had her try on short skirts and short tops for him.

In the ACT Magistrate's Court on Thursday, Magistrate Maria Doogan continued the man's bail, but varied the conditions to require him to notify the Supreme Court of any change to his address.

The man is due to reappear in court on February 4. He will face the Supreme Court later this year.