An ACT policeman accused of molesting and taking an explicit photo of a boy in his care will have to wait until next week to learn of his fate. The officer, now suspended from the Australian Federal Police, allegedly indecently touched and rubbed a boy with a towel after he got out of the shower.
The Canberra man had been looking after the boy and his siblings in 2012 through a care program. He allegedly asked the boy whether he could dry him and touch his penis on a number of different occasions as he got out of the shower. The boy alleges the man touched him indecently on one occasion, and also focused on his genitals when drying him with the towel.
The police officer is also accused of taking and storing an explicit picture of the boy as he dried himself. The naked picture of the 12-year-old was found on the man’s computer.
But the officer denies the accusations, saying the child made them up, possibly because he was angry at not being allowed back to the policeman’s house due to behavioural issues. The accused also claims that the photo of the naked boy was taken accidentally, and that he deleted it from his computer as soon as he realised.
His defence, led by barrister Richard Thomas, have relied on his good character, pointing to the fact he is a policeman, did volunteer work, and had won police awards as evidence of his credibility. The Crown, represented by Trent Hickey, have shown the jury search terms found to have been entered on the man’s computer.
The term ‘‘boys’’ was entered into the nudity section of a website, while ‘‘boys no undies’’ and ‘‘boys first time’’ were typed into Google. They say the searches reveal the man’s attraction to young boys.
But he claims he entered the term ‘‘boys’’ while looking for images to add to disciplinary charts he was making for the children in his care.
He also said he entered the terms ‘‘boys no undies’’ and ‘‘boys first time’’ into Google in an attempt to research the behavioural problems of the complainant, who he said kept coming out of the shower with no clothes on.
The jury began deliberations after Justice Richard Refshauge’s summing up of the case ended at about 2.20pm on Thursday. They had not reached a verdict by 5.30pm and were sent home. The jury will resume deliberations on Monday. The officer is facing four acts of indecency charges and two charges relating to the production and possession of child pornography.