Ballarat man assaults girl, spreads pictures on internet

A BALLARAT man who indecently assaulted his 10-year-old grand-niece and circulated pornographic pictures of her on the internet had his sentence adjourned on Tuesday. 

The man, who cannot be named, pleaded guilty to charges of wilfully committing an indecent act with a child under 16, making child pornography, using a carriage service to transmit child pornography and possessing child pornography.

A County Court sitting in Ballarat heard the man committed five indecent acts with the victim between 2010 and 2013. 

The man wasn’t sentenced because he is expected to face further, more serious charges relating to numerous sexual offences against the victim’s younger sister. 

Crown prosecutor Patrick Bourke said police executed a search warrant at the accused’s property earlier this year, seizing a computer tower which contained child exploitation material. 

The man later admitted in a police interview his interest in child exploitation material started 10 years ago and he’d become “obsessed”.

Mr Bourke read a victim impact statement to the court, stating: “I have bad dreams, school work has become difficult, I have trouble sleeping and concentration lapses.” 

“I have been really upset about what he (accused) put on the internet about me, I feel I have been violated and abused over and over,” the statement went on to say.

“I don’t like to be with men because I don’t trust them anymore, I lock my bedroom door to keep everyone out.” 

Mr Bourke said all four charges fell under the serious sexual offender category, as did a number of his prior convictions, he said. 

The accused’s defence council made no attempt to minimise the “gravity” of the offending, suggesting “it was clear he must receive a term of imprisonment”. 

With the second set of charges for the second victim expected to be filed before August 31, judge Paul Grant adjourned the plea to October 20 at the Melbourne County Court. 

The man remains in police custody.

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