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Teen sex crimes fear in Geelong

Sexual offences against teenagers are soaring and Geelong police fear there are victims suffering in silence.
Figures released yesterday revealed Victorian police were probing 47 serious sexual-assault crimes statewide between June and September this year. The report said victims between 14 and 16 featured most prominently on the list and 28 of the cases involved female victims aged under 17.
A pilot police program trailed in Geelong this year dubbed the Sexual Offences and Child Abuse Investigation Team, involving specially trained police, is expected to be rolled out state-wide next year to deal with the influx of cases.
Sexual Crimes Squad Detective Inspector Glenn Davies said young women affected by alcohol were most vulnerable and was concerned about the trend with schoolies and Christmas break-up parties approaching.
"Young people, particularly men, need to consider their own behaviour and the way they treat women," he said.
"Often these situations occur in group environments and young men need to take a strong, moral stance and speak out to their mates and put a stop to their actions.
"A lot of offences are taking place in party-type situations, where often a large amount of alcohol has been consumed and where there is often little to no adult supervision."
Recent Geelong cases involving sexual offences against teenagers include:
Neil Hogg pleaded guilty to groping a 14-year-old girl through her school dress while she waited at a Geelong bus stop. He will be sentenced today;
CORIO grandfather Leonard Hobbs will stand trial after pleading not guilty to 24 charges relating to sexual assault and rape of a young girl while she was aged between six and 13;
VIDEO footage was posted on the internet of two teenagers having sex inside a Geelong region school gym. The group of students who witnessed and filmed the sex act were suspended;
TORQUAY'S Andrew Drayton, 21, is charged with 13 counts of sexual penetration of girls aged under 16;
James Gregory, 39, received a suspended jail sentence after he enticed a 14-year-old girl into his bedroom. The North Geelong man put on a pornographic movie and then started to touch the victim, and
WESTERN Heights teacher Andrew Beaumont, 30, was sentenced to a minimum of three years jail after pleading guilty to sexual penetration of a 15-year-old student.
Geelong police Inspector Phil Swindells said there were many support agencies available in the city to help those who were scared to report sex crimes to police.
"We encourage everyone to come forward and report sex offences that are being committed on themselves, or friends or family members," Insp Swindells said.

Geelong Advertiser (17-11-2009)
Aleks Devic

Geelong schoolgirl groped at bus stop

A MAN groped a 14-year-old schoolgirl as she waited at a Geelong bus stop, a court heard yesterday.
On March 10 this year, Neil Hogg approached the victim, who was waiting at the bus stop with a friend, near a secondary school.
The prosecution told the court Hogg tried to talk to the girls but then started stroking the victim's dress and gripped her thigh through the material.
Hogg yesterday pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court to one count of committing an indecent act with a child under 16.
The court heard the girl tried to walk away but then broke into a run when she thought he was following her.
The prosecution said the girl reached her house where she told her father about the incident.
Hogg was later seen catching a bus from the same stop, the court heard.
The court was told that on April 28, Hogg was charged and made full admissions to police.
"No, I shouldn't have done it," he told police.
Hogg said he was simply trying to flee the scene and was not following the victim home.
The defence acknowledged Hogg had an intellectual disability and previous problems with alcohol but that this was his first sex offence and that was a "worrying development".
As it was a class-two offence, Hogg was told he would be placed on the sex offenders register for eight years.
Magistrate Rosemary Carlin said that she wanted Hogg to enter a sex offenders program and adjourned sentencing until November 17 for a pre-sentence report and justice plan.

Geelong Advertiser (7-10-2009)
Jeff Whalley

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