Stepdaughter raped 120 times before she turned 12

**WARNING** Some readers may find the content of this article distressing.

A man who claimed he was sexually abused while living at the Central Queensland orphanage, Neerkol, has been jailed for raping his stepdaughter 120 times when she was aged about seven to 12 years old.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in March in Rockhampton District Court to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said the 59-year-old defendant had been in a relationship with the girl's mother during the offending period, with the first sexual contact being when the child was aged six.

"For six years, he had regular sexual contact which, at its highest, occurred every three days," she said.

Ms O'Rourke said the sexual contact included touching genitalia, oral sex and rape.

Judge Jeff Clarke described the offending as "horrible and disdain sexual abuse".

She said the victim was able to recall specific incidents, including the first sexual intercourse when she was seven or eight.

Ms O'Rourke said the defendant raped the victim 120 times during the offending period including when "she was tied to the steering wheel because she was moving too much".

She said the defendant tried to bribe the child with Tim Tams to be "the old" version of herself (meaning when he could sexually abuse her), especially after she found ways to avoid the sexual abuse.

Ms O'Rourke said the child saw a news report about a child sex offender and afterwards was able to find excuses for not being left alone with the defendant.

She said about a year later, the child complained to her mother about the defendant after she discovered he watched her shower.

Ms O'Rourke said the mother confronted the defendant who proceeded to drink alcohol and state he couldn't go to jail.

Judge Clarke said the defendant sent a text message saying he would kill himself if the child made a complaint to police.

He said the defendant also created a fake Instagram account, pretending to be a female child, messaging the victim and asking her about her sexual experiences.

The defendant denied any offending to police and was charged for the offending which took place in the greater Emerald region.

Ms O'Rourke said the victim stated in her statement she had "lost her innocence, felt guilt and shame".

She said the victim "wanted to speak up but was told the defendant 'saved the family'."

Defence barrister Scott Moon said his client was sent to live at the Neerkol orphanage after his parents separated and claimed he was subjected to sexual abuse and raped while living there.

Judge Clarke questioned the claim, saying the psychiatrist report before the court did not match that claim.

Mr Moon said his client claimed he did not feel comfortable telling the psychiatrist about it.

However, Judge Clarke said the report indicated the defendant had told the psychiatrist about alleged oral sex at the orphanage which the defendant claimed was "working up" to rape.

Mr Moon continued his submission, saying the defendant decided to plead guilty to spare the child from a trial.

Judge Clarke then said "he told the psychiatrist it was all bulls---".

Mr Moon said his client had accepted the agreed facts put to the court.

He continued submissions about the psychiatrist report, saying the psychiatrist determined the defendant showed signs of post traumatic stress disorder which would be aggravated in prison due to the defendant's issues with people in authority positions and result in a deterioration of his mental health.

The defendant had spent 371 days in presentence custody.

Mr Moon said his client told him he had been a "model citizen" while waiting sentence.

Judge Clarke asked Mr Moon if his client had any difficulty with authority while in presentence custody, to which the response was the defendant had advised him he had not been in trouble while in custody.

In his sentencing remarks, Judge Clarke said the psychiatrist report did not indicate if the defendant was a risk to children in the future.

He said he was concerned by the suicide threat which indicated the defendant was self-centred.

Judge Clarke said there had not been one clear expression of remorse or responsibility from this defendant.

He said the victim, in her statement, said she felt she was a prisoner with constant thoughts of self-doubt and lack of control over the situation.

Judge Clarke said the victim felt "her only purpose in life was to put up with the abuse" and "she was a burden to everyone".

He said the victim felt that way as she had been told the her family was reliant on the defendant.

Judge Clarke said since making the complaint, the victim was trying to "regain some sense of freedom" and hoped no one else had to suffer at the hands of defendant.

Judge Clarke sentenced the defendant to 11 years prison, declared 371 days presentence custody and declared the defendant as a serious violence offender, meaning he will have to serve at least 80 per cent of his sentence before he will be eligible for parole.


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