Guilty plea over sex charges

AN Albury man met a girl, 14, on a dating website and cultivated a friendship with her despite being warned off by her parents, a court heard yesterday.

The man, 27, corresponded with the girl through Facebook and Skype despite her mother, father and stepfather telling him to stay away because of her age.

For a short time he complied, but resumed communications with her.

The man picked up the girl from the country location where she lived and took her to his residence where he boards in central Albury on August 18 last year.

They watched a movie before the man asked to have sex, but the girl declined.

He took off her clothing and over a two-day period had sexual intercourse with her four times.

The girl went to a nearby motel on August 19 and told staff she had been sexually assaulted and the police were notified.

The following day police investigators from the Albury-Wagga child abuse squad attended the boarding house with a crime scene warrant and executed it on the man.

He was told about the allegations made by the girl and he claimed whatever she said was false.

When asked whether he had sex with her, the man admitted it, was arrested and later interviewed.

He appeared in Albury Local Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to four charges of having sexual intercourse with a girl aged between 14 and 16.

Four charges of aggravated sexual assault on a victim under 16 were withdrawn by Director of Public Prosecutions’ Andrew Hanshaw.

Magistrate Megan Greenwood committed the man for sentencing in the District Court and continued his bail.

The court was told in tendered facts the girl originally told the man she was 17.

But he became aware of her true age after the warning from her family.

They had known each other for about 12 months before the sexual intercourse took place.

The man admitted during an interview with detectives that he knew the legal age for consensual intercourse was 16.