A 19-year-old who sent sexualised messages to a 13-year-old girl on Snapchat has avoided a conviction for the offending.
The man, who The Courier cannot name because of legal reasons, was sentenced at the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Friday.
Magistrate Letizia Torres said she felt the man was not aware of the impacts of his conduct at the time due to his young age and low level of maturity.
The court heard the man, now 22, added the victim as a friend on Snapchat knowing she was 13 and they had message conversations between September 2019 and January 2020.
I am confident nothing like this will happen again.Magistrate Letizia Torres
The conversations became sexual after a couple of weeks and the victim felt pressured to meet with him and have sex with him.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Giles Brown said at plea hearing in July the meeting 'thankfully' never eventuated.
The man sent sexualised videos of himself to the girl and the girl sent him a picture of herself in track pants and a bra.
The girl told her sister about the messages. The family then made a report to the police.
The man was arrested and interviewed in May 2020 and admitted to knowing the victim's age and what he did was wrong.
Ms Torres said she gave the matter 'considerable thought'.
She sentenced the man to a six-month community corrections order without conviction.
The man will be supervised for the six month period through appointments and will be required to talk to his case manager about the offending.
He will be on the sex offenders register for a mandatory eight years.
Ms Torres said the man had no prior convictions and was a youthful offender.
"I hope not imposing a conviction will help you as a young person get a job," she said.
"I am encouraged by the fact it has been a year and a half and you and your family have reflected on the offending.
"I am confident nothing like this will happen again."
The man's phone was forfeited to police because it was used for criminal activity.
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