The man’s application for a blue card has been denied.
The man’s application for a blue card has been denied.

Man who had sex with underage girls applies for blue card

A NURSING student, who had sex with two girls, aged 13 and 15, when he was 19 and serving in the Australian Army, has been refused a blue card for working with children.

The ex-soldier, who was charged with indecent treatment and carnal knowledge of one of the girls, was never convicted because the charges were discontinued, at the wish of the child.

The Queensland man, now 30, told a tribunal he had engaged in various sexual acts with the two girls, after the girls had told him they were 17 and 18 - above the age of consent.

The girls were taken to an Army base by the man in 2008 and two other Army personnel gave them alcohol to drink, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.

It was alleged that one girl, 13, who was a virgin, did not want to have sex with the Queensland soldier, but she was drunk and felt pressured into it.

She allegedly asked him to stop, but he continued and he later allegedly had sex with the other girl, 15, in view of the younger girl, the tribunal heard.

The younger girl later told two others that she had been raped at the Army barracks.

The 15-year-old did not make a police complaint, but was a witness for the younger girl and they both said they had told "the army boys'' they were 15 and 17.

In late 2017, the Director-General of Blue Card Services issued a negative notice, refusing the man's request for a blue card to enable him to complete his studies to become a registered nurse.

The man’s application for a blue card has been denied.
The man’s application for a blue card has been denied.

The man lost his appeal to Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal on September 3.

Discontinued charges for child-related sexual offences can still be considered by Blue Card Services.

"The charges raise very serious concerns about (the nursing student's) ability to provide a protective environment for children in his care,'' a tribunal member said.

The decision to drop the charges was not due to a deficiency in evidence or an inability to prove the offences, but based on the wishes of the child complainants, the member said.

The nursing student said he had been a willing participant in the sex with the two girls, but assumed they were of legal and consensual age.

After the incident he was in command roles within the Army before being medically-discharged.

He has since been involved in teaching, organising, hosting and judging internet gaming events, the tribunal heard.

The married father-of-two, said he understood that the sexual encounter with the girls was disrespectful to them and that he needed to protect children from such predatory experiences.

He said he was disgusted with his behaviour, which caused mental trauma for the girls and their families.

 

The tribunal member questioned the man's credibility about his knowledge of the girls' ages at the time and said he had failed to make adequate inquiries about their ages.

He had disregarded the impact of the girls' inebriation on their ability to consent to sexual acts.

Confirming the negative notice for a blue card, the member found there was a real risk that the man would harm children while employed or undertaking voluntary work.

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