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Man to serve eight weeks jail for torment and sexual abuse of foster daughter

A foster father, who betrayed the trust of the child who called him ?Dad?, by repeatedly sexually assaulting her over a long period, has been jailed for two months.
The offender, who has fostered at least 70 vulnerable children in the Geelong area, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday to 15 counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16.
The maximum sentence for each count of indecent assault on a child under 16 is 10 years jail however in this case the offender will get to serve just four days per charge.
The court heard the foster father, who cannot be named due to a suppression order, sexually assaulted the child on a regular basis, with his offending becoming more exploitative as time went on.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Brooke Shears said, that when arrested, the offender admitted to committing many more indecent assaults on the child than those disclosed by her.
His lawyer said her client had been ‘candid’ and ‘co-operative’ with police.
The court heard all the offending occurred in the family home where the foster father would climb into bed with the girl when saying goodnight.
It was also revealed the child was currently undergoing counselling and it was not known what the long term consequences of the man’s offending would have upon her.
Handing down sentence yesterday, Magistrate Ann McGarvie said she had taken into account denouncement of his conduct and protection of the community.
She said she must also take into account the offender’s rehabilitation.
Ms McGarvie said the accused had no mental health issues and had taken advantage of an extremely vulnerable child who called him ‘Dad’.
She said she was concerned by a psychologist’s report stating it was unclear why he sexually abused the child and this posed uncertainty for the future.
Ms McGarvie said a Community Corrections Order assessment also found him to be a moderate risk of reoffending.
She said mitigating circumstances in his favour included the accused’s co-operation with police, volunteering more information than disclosed by the victim and a plea of guilty.
She said the offender was also well regarded by his community and employer who were all aware of the charges against him.
The offender was convicted on all counts and sentenced to two months jail.
He was also placed on a two year Community Corrections Order with a condition he take part in the Sex Offenders Program.
His placing on the Sex Offenders Register for life was mandatory.

www.geelongadvertiser.com.au (2-5-2014)
Karen Matthews

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