A Riverina man has been jailed for four years over two historic indecent assaults against an underage girl.
The man, who faced Wagga District Court on Thursday for sentencing, had already pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting the girl on two occasions in 2005 and 2006 when she was just eight to nine-years-old.
A third charge of sexual intercourse with a person under 10-years-old was withdrawn by the Crown following plea negotiations.
The court heard the victim’s parents were often both away for extended periods due to their work commitments and health problems.
During those times, the girl and her siblings were left in the care of the offender and his wife, who were both close and trusted friends of the family.
On one of those occasions in 2005, the children were playing with some toys in the lounge room when the offender invited the girl to sit on his lap and kissed her.
The second assault, which Judge Gordon Lerve described as “far more serious”, happened when the then-nine-year-old girl went into the backyard to feed her dinner scraps to the dog.
The offender followed her out the door, grabbed her by the shoulder, and put his hand down her pants.
Last April, the offender was sentenced to five years and nine months’ jail for an unrelated aggravated sexual assault against a different victim, who was 11-years-old.
Judge Lerve said his time in custody as a known sex-offender had been anything but easy.
“The offender continues to have difficulties in custody, and was attacked by another inmate last year,” he said.
“It would seem the offender is essentially a protection-type prisoner who is in his cell for a good portion of the day.”
The judge said there was no evidence that the offender was remorseful for what he had done, and that the court had to be “guarded” about his prospects of rehabilitation.
“I would have difficulty finding that he is unlikely to reoffend, save perhaps for his age,” Judge Lerve said.
“He will be an elderly man upon his eventual release, and one would hope that the period in custody would be sufficient deterrent from him reoffending.”
The man was sentenced to four years and six months’ jail with a non-parole period of two years and six months.
Taking his earlier sentence into account, he will be eligible for parole on February 12, 2021.
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