A man in his 60s has been found guilty of the historical rapes of a vulnerable young boy who used to stay with him while desperate for a male role model.
John Paul Garay faced a judge-alone trial in June after pleading not guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse with a child and 16 counts of committing an act of indecency on the same boy.
All of these offences were alleged to have occurred at Garay's Wanniassa home between January 1986 and December 1988.
Last week, Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson found him guilty of both rape charges and six indecent acts.
The ACT Supreme Court judge acquitted Garay of the other 10 charges, and later outlined the reasons for her verdicts in a 185-page judgment published on Friday.
The judgment reveals that the victim would regularly stay with Garay, who was a friend of his family, during school holidays.
The victim told police he would sleep in Garay's bed and that the offender, then aged between 26 and 28, sexually assaulted him every time this happened, with the exception of one occasion.
"There was just this one modus operandi that happened over and over again," he said of the indecent acts, describing how Garay would touch him inappropriately while he was either asleep, dozing off or trying to get to sleep.
The victim also gave evidence in a pre-trial hearing late last year.
During the trial, prosecutor Skye Jerome told the court there was an occasion during the period of the abuse when the victim made a beeline for a spare room at Garay's place and slept there for a night.
"He did this because he knew by this stage that the abuse was wrong," Justice Loukas-Karlsson said in a summary of Ms Jerome's submissions.
"The complainant was conflicted in himself as he felt like he had a really good friend who was good to him, took him out, but touched him up all time.
"The complainant didn't want the accused to touch him up."
Ms Jerome told the court Garay yelled at the boy the next morning, prompting the child to apologise for upsetting him.
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She said the victim had returned to the offender's bed that night, when Garay raped him as they watched what Justice Loukas-Karlsson called "a criminal detective-type movie".
The prosecutor told the court Garay raped the boy again the following night as the pair watched Hot Dog ... The Movie.
The victim reported Garay to police in 2017, but it was not until December 2019 that the offender was charged.
Garay denied all allegations made by the victim, and his barrister, Margaret Jones, argued in her closing submissions that the prosecution had not proven any of the 18 charges beyond reasonable doubt.
Among other things, she said the victim had a motive to lie because he had commenced civil proceedings against Garay shortly after the man was charged.
But Justice Loukas-Karlsson found the victim was "a highly credible witness", while she assessed Garay as unimpressive.
"[Garay] appeared, to me, to tailor his evidence in the trial in a manner that detracted from his credibility and reliability," she said.
The judge ultimately acquitted Garay of 10 charges, largely because of issues around the dates on which the relevant incidents were said to have occurred.
But in relation to the other eight charges, including the two rapes, she found the evidence against Garay compelling.
Following the entry of the verdicts, Ms Jerome asked Justice Loukas-Karlsson to revoke Garay's bail and remand him in custody ahead of sentencing.
But Ms Jones applied for her client's bail to continue, telling the court he was a carer for two family members who would not be able to look after themselves until Garay made the necessary arrangements.
The lawyers ultimately agreed on a set of conditions and Ms Jerome dropped her opposition to bail, which the judge therefore continued.
Garay will be sentenced at a later date.
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