A former school employee accused of grooming a girl for sex and providing her with a phone to arrange meet-ups has been refused bail.
The 40-year-old Riverina man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was arrested by police on Thursday.
The arrest came after a police investigation, which began in August following reports a 14-year-old girl had been sexually abused by a man who was employed at her school.
The man was charged with 11 counts of intentionally sexually touching a child, three counts of sexual intercourse with a child, one count of intentionally doing a sexual act with a child and one count of grooming a child for unlawful sexual activity. He appeared via video link in Wagga Local Court yesterday.
Police allege the man groomed the girl then sexually assaulted her on numerous occasions between August 2019 and March 2020.
In court, the man's solicitor Michael Camerer asked Magistrate Christopher Halburd to consider bail because he had no criminal history or record of violence.
"I concede that the AVO has been breached," Mr Camerer said. "I have been instructed he has mental health issues, depression and suicidal tendencies. He sees a mental health specialist weekly."
Mr Camerer said his client was prepared to abide by any bail conditions, and his mother had indicated he could live with her. "As for the protection of the victim, I am instructed he has had no other contact with her since early 2020 with the exception of the phone call she made to him which was arranged by the police," he said.
"He has a new job, has a driver's licence which he has never previously held and he is trying to re-establish his life."
The police prosecutor said while she accepted he had no prior record, there was "always a first time" and argued for bail to be refused.
"This is no insignificant matter," she said.
The prosecutor said while no charges had been served in relation to the AVO breach it proved he would not comply with bail conditions.
"It was served on him twice ... it specifically names this victim," she said. "On at least four occasions, he met with the victim in person. There is more than 5000 telecommunications, texts, calls."
The prosecutor said police allege the defendant ordered a telephone to give the girl in order to arrange meet-ups and send messages.
She said it was a "very strong prosecution case".
Magistrate Halburd said he acknowledged the submissions made by the defence, but said the man had shown a "complete and utter disregard" by breaching the AVO.
Bail was refused and the man is due to return to Wagga Local Court on January 13.