A former Wodonga police officer who invited young boys to stay overnight at his home in the 1970s has, more than 40 years later, pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting them.
Terry Page, now 76, was in his early 30s in either 1974 or 75 when he offered to help out a Mount Beauty family, by having their 11 or 12-year-old son stay with him on his Bonegilla farm.
Dressed in his police uniform, he and the boy were travelling on his Honda 350cc motorbike when he pulled the boy's hand onto his erect penis.
His bedroom was set up with both a double and single bed, but during the night, Page moved into the single bed with the boy and masturbated.
Crown prosecutor Peter Triandos told Wodonga County Court on Monday that the victim had been too scared to say anything and pretended to be asleep.
The victim reported the assault as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2017.
Page told police when arrested he remembered sleeping in the same bed as the boy, but there was nothing sexual.
His second victim also came forward during the Royal Commission.
He was 16 years old in 1975 when Page, dressed in uniform, picked him up in a police highway patrol car and took him to stay the night at his Wodonga home.
When the teenager slept in the same bed as Page, he was made to touch the man's penis for an hour.
He later told police he was scared of the police officer.
The court heard Page had previously pleaded guilty to further sexual assaults of young boys, which started in 1978, and was sentenced in 1982 to a three-year good behaviour bond and a fine.
Judge Richard Smith said by not admitting the earlier assaults on the young boys, Page "wasn't taking responsibility for his actions".
"He's driving around on a big motorbike, he's got a police uniform on, other times he's in a police vehicle - these are all things that would be impressive for a 16-year-old boy," he said.
Page was dismissed from Victoria Police in 1979 after he had a mental breakdown.
His barrister Charles Morgan said while sentencing had changed over the past 30 years, the good behaviour bond had worked for Page, who has not been charged with any further offences.
Page sat in the dock in court on Monday, hanging his head for much of the plea hearing.
Mr Triandos and Mr Morgan both said a suspended jail sentence would be an appropriate punishment.
The case was adjourned for sentencing on March 13.
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