A Gladstone man has been sentenced for maintaining a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
A Gladstone man has been sentenced for maintaining a sexual relationship with his stepdaughter. (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

‘Stole her childhood’: Man forced stepdaughter into sex acts

"SHE SAYS you stole her childhood," Judge Jeffrey Clarke told a 54-year-old man as he was sentenced for his vile sexual offending against his stepdaughter.

The man, who cannot be legally named, stared up at the ceiling, never making eye contact with the family that sat in the back of the Gladstone District Court on November 26.

After being presented with 15 charges and pleading not guilty to each on Tuesday, a last-minute change to three charges, made the man admit his offending through a guilty plea.

He pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a child, indecent treatment of a child under 16 under care and making child exploitation material.

The Crown described the man's offending, which occurred over a 13 month period ending in 2019.

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At the time the girl was between 13 and 14, he was aged 51 and 52.

The offending started with him "spanking" her bottom and escalated to inappropriate touching, touching her while naked or in underwear and making her perform chores naked.

It eventuated to him performing more serious sexual acts against her.

During the period, he made the girl pose in lingerie and naked in sexualised positions and he would take photographs.

He exposed the girl to his "FetLife" profile - a website for people interested in fetishism - under the pretence he wanted to show her some of his writing.

The crown conceded the content of the writing was not sexual however the girl was exposed to an ad for penis enlargement.

"His behaviour included elements of manipulative conduct," the prosecution said.

The offending came to light when the man once again tried to offend against her but she rebuffed and hid in a room. The man became angry and yelled at the girl.

The court was told during a police interview the man denied the accusations and tried to minimise the offending.

 

Anyone seeking help in a domestic violence situation should contact:

1800-Respect: 1800 737 732

Gladstone Women's Health: 1800 749 222

DV Connect Womensline: 1800 811 811

DV Connect Mensline: 1800 600 636

Policelink 131 444 or 000 in an emergency.

 

Defence barrister Philip Hardcastle told the court the man was trying to assist the girl in building up her confidence.

He said the girl had put some faith in him and that he was helping her as she had underlying mental health issues from a young age.

Mr Hardcastle said some of the girl's conduct was "strange" including lying on a recliner chair with him when she was 13.

"She may well have been doing that in all innocence," Mr Hardcastle said.

"That's when things got out of hand."

Judge Clarke told the man he was supposed to nurture, care for, guide and support the child.

"You were aware of the need to provide protection and help to this child who unfortunately may have also been the subject of other abhorrent behaviour," Judge Clarke said.

"In those circumstances she was a particularly vulnerable child."

Judge Clarke said in the girl's victim impact statement, she said the man had intruded into every aspect of her life.

 

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"She says she can't look in mirrors because all she sees is you behind her," he said.

"She suffers a complete lack of her self confidence, she says you stole her childhood which has forever changed her life.

"Her hopes and aspirations for the future have been destroyed by what you've done."

Judge Clarke said the exposure to his "fetishism" was an inescapable feature which would prove to be an ongoing issue for the girl.

He sentenced the man to six and a half years imprisonment with parole eligibilty on November 26.