Trial without jury ordered for Bundaberg child sex case

A JUDGE has ordered a trial be conducted without a jury in a case where a Bundaberg man has been accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old girl who had an intellectual disability.

The judge has described it as an "unusual case" because the man is also believed to have an intellectual disability and was also allegedly the girl's guardian.

Details in a judgment handed down by District Court Judge Paul Smith stated that the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, allegedly started having a relationship with the girl's mother in 2012 and that she and her daughter moved in with him in Bundaberg.

He was allegedly on parole for rape offences when this occurred.

He was taken into custody when police discovered he had breached his parole because he did not tell police he was living with the girl, the judgment said.

Police have evidence of alleged telephone conversations recorded between the man and the girl while he was behind bars.

Judge Smith said the recorded telephone calls showed an alleged sexual interest between the man and girl and these would have to be included in evidence.

"It seems to me that this is an unusual case," he said.

Judge Smith said expert evidence about both the man and girl's impairments would need to be analysed.

He made a no jury order on the case. The final decision over guilt or innocence will be up to a judge.

The man has been charged with various offences including five counts of carnal knowledge (having sexual intercourse) of a person with an impairment of the mind as a guardian, two counts of indecent dealing with a person with an impairment of the mind as a guardian and two counts of sodomy of an intellectually impaired person as a guardian.


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