'Family friend' sentenced to jail for sexually abusing child
A 33-year-old Hervey Bay man has been sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to "maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child" about three years ago.
The then 13-year-old girl, who saw Joshua Baden Wayne Black as a "family friend," had been sexualised by him after a "longstanding history of sexual abuse" from her father, Hervey Bay District Court heard.
During 2017, Black made "comments about what (she) was wearing, clearly sexualising her."
The girl moved to Brisbane to live with her grandmother after she spoke to people about the "conduct of her father towards her."
Black is alleged to have not known about the "violent and sexual conduct" from her father until her father was dealt with by the police and sentenced to 12 years in jail.
Crown prosecutor C.W. Willis told the court the sexual abuse from her father "seemingly went unnoticed by anyone ... and for that period of time."
An encounter between Black and the girl in June 2017, when Black was 29 and the girl was 13, was "perhaps the commencement of that realisation of the sexual attraction."
"(Black had) the complainant lay on a bed with him while they playing Xbox, and he started rubbing her inner thigh, on her bare skin below her shorts ... he told her he wanted to be more than friends and wanted to do things to her," Mr Willis said.
"He told her not to tell anyone and she promised she wouldn't."
From then, Black would "take off his pants and have (her) masturbate him," Willis said.
This progressed to intercourse and oral sex performed on the girl.
A few months prior to the complaint about the 13-year-old girl's father, in September 2017, she told Black to stop the offending, where it's alleged he did.
After the girl moved to Brisbane, Black had texted her asking "Did she miss what they used to do together".
The girl then told her stepsister about the text, then a few months later, told her grandmother, which led to police being contacted.
Once police were involved, phone conversations between Black and the girl were had, where she put to him what had happened.
"(Black) indicated in the first call that he remembered parts of it, and, in the second call that he couldn't remember a whole lot because he had suffered, four months previous, an accident, a head injury."
The matter remained dormant for about 12 months with Queensland police before in 2019, a photo audit review was conducted, "for reasons that are necessarily unclear."
On November 25, 2019, the police then attended Black's home, giving him the opportunity to be interviewed, to which he declined, and was subsequently charged.
"The height of the offending is weekly, over a three to four-month period ... It would seem they both considered, at least, some sense of a relationship," the court heard.
An impact statement provided by the girl, now 17, was read to the court, which said:
"I've been emotionally affected by the impact of what Joshua has done. I have felt depressed, struggled with sleep, felt anxious and experienced panic attacks. When I was in school, I had trouble making friends and couldn't really open up socially as I was shown affection in that way I shouldn't have been. I also fear what might happen in the future with me. I now have trust issues with men and don't feel like I'm able to trust them."
Judge Glen Cash said "there was nothing that suggests that (Black), at present, is a particular danger to children, generally."
Black was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment, with a suspended sentence of 10 months.
He was also listed as a reportable offender under child protection legislation.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.