Man jailed for sex with teen who fell pregnant
A DISTRICT Court judge has sent a warning to men who choose to have a sexual relationship with an under age girl, even if it's consensual you will go to jail.
Judge Craig Chowdhury said the law was designed to protect children - even from themselves - so young people would not engage in sexual activity until they were physically and emotionally ready.
"The Age of Consent (law) exists for a reason," he told the 27-year-old man who had pleaded guilty to having maintained a sexual relationship with a girl who was 14 and 15 at the time.
The man, who is not named to protect the identity of the now 22-year-old woman, was between 18 and 20 when he engaged in the relationship during which time the girl fell pregnant at age 15, the Toowoomba District Court heard.
The couple, who met through a football club in a town to Toowoomba's north-west, had eventually moved in together in Toowoomba and the teenager had a second child after she had turned 16, Crown prosecutor Shontelle Petrie told the court.
The relationship came to an end in 2012, she said.
Defence barrister David Jones said the relationship had always been consensual and at the time it began his client was immature and sexually inexperienced.
His client had been sexually abused by two friends of his mother when he was 12, he said.
His client had no previous convictions at the time and by a psychological report put before the court he was unlikely to re-offend, Mr Jones submitted.
The 27-year-old had not seen his two children since 2012 and it was during attempts to have access to his children that the matter had come to the attention of police, the court heard.
Judge Chowdhury said it was "an usual case, but the law is clear".
He sentenced the man to three years in jail but ordered the term be suspended after he had served six months, the remainder of the term to hang over his head for four years.