Man escapes jail time for pressuring 15-year-old into sex

AN AUTISTIC man who pressured a teenager into having anal sex with him has narrowly escaped spending time behind bars.

The man, 20, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty in Ipswich District Court to the unlawful sodomy of a person under the age of 18 years stemming from an incident in February, 2015.

The court heard the man met the teen, 15, through a third person and they spent time together over the course of the next few days.

Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the court the man and teen slept in the same bed on two consecutive nights after they met.

He said they engaged in consensual intimacy during this time.

"On the second night her asked the to have anal sex with him but she refused to do so," he said.

"He then pressured her further and in the end she relented.

"He proceeded to have anal sex with the teen for about 15 minutes."

Mr Le Grand said the offending came to light after others overheard a conversation the girl was having with friends.

He said the teen was unwilling to provide the court with a victim impact statement.

"The community denounces this type of offence especially between and adult and a child," he said.

"She was a reluctant participant in the act and did not ultimately give consent.

"But the Crown concedes she was a willing participant in other intimate acts between the two."

Defence barrister Jann Tayor said the man had been diagnosed with Autism from a young age and had no criminal history.

She said due to his learning difficulties he was unaware of the legal ramifications of his behaviour.

"The girl initially did not want to make a complaint," she said.

"His treating doctor has concluded he is of low-average intelligence and shows no insight into the trouble he was in.

"He has since learnt a very valuable lesson due to being charged and these court proceedings."

Judge Sarah Bradley sentenced the man to three years probation and ordered he undergo a sex offenders program or counselling.

She agreed with Ms Taylor's submission an actual custodial sentence could be damaging.

"You are not a good vehicle for the courts to use to send a message of deterrence to the community," she said.

"Given your particular characteristics I accept you would be at risk if jailed and it would do nothing for your rehabilitation."

Judge Bradley said a conviction would be recorded.

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