Man imprisoned after disgusting act in front of stepdaughter
A MAN has been sentenced to prison for a number of years after indecently treating his 15-year-old stepdaughter.
The man appeared in the dock in Bundaberg District Court today charged with two counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 years of age under his care.
The court heard that on March 9 last year while the mother of the child was absent, the then 55-year-old man went into her room, undressed himself and began masturbating.
The court heard the man told the girl to leave if she felt uncomfortable, which she did.
A similar incident occurred between then and July 10, when the man in a different room but within eyesight of his stepdaughter's room - pulled his genitalia out over his pants and masturbated.
A victim impact statement presented to Judge Leanne Clare showed the girl had not been unaffected by the behaviour.
When looking through the man's personal history, Judge Clare noted the man had no children of his own, but had a troubled childhood.
The court heard the man had been adopted as a child and never knew his biological father.
He had also suffered epilepsy after being assaulted by his adoptive mother as a child.
When assessing what the man's sentence should be, Judge Clare considered the man's failing health and lack of similar offences in his history.
She also considered the fact that the man had lost his family, as his behaviour had led to a divorce with his partner.
The court heard the man saw his stepdaughter differently after she turned 15, shown by the types of pornography he engaged with.
"You have raised her since she was a toddler … she regarded you as a father," Judge Clare said.
She said it was fortunate for the man his behaviour had not progressed to more invasive offences.
"To prison you must go," she told him.
The man pleaded guilty to both counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16 year of age under his care.
He was sentenced to two years imprisonment for each offence, to be suspended after four months.
The operational period of his sentence would stand for two and a half years.