School gossip lands teen in court

SCHOOLYARD gossip has landed a 17-year-old in court after a teacher overheard he had engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl.

The teenager appeared in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday, where he pleaded guilty to a charge of indecent treatment of a child under the age of 16 relating to an offence last year.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Jason Todman said the boy had grabbed the girl's breasts before she performed a sex act on him and he touched her inappropriately.

Sgt Todman said the girl told police she had said no when the boy asked if he could touch her breasts and felt as though she had been coerced.

“To say the least, the defendant's behaviour is indecent to the extreme,” the prosecutor said.

Sgt Todman submitted the Bundaberg boy be sentenced to a prison probation order.

Lawyer Thomas Bray said his client had turned 17 only two months prior to the offence and was two years and eight months older than the girl at the time.

“She was in Year 9 and he was in Year 11,” Mr Bray said.

“The complainant told other children at school, who told a teacher who faxed the CPIU (Child Protection and Investigation Unit) for investigation.”

Mr Bray said there was a “significant degree of compliance” by the girl, who agreed to perform the sex act.

“No doubt she suffered significant embarrassment when other kids started gossiping,” he said.

“(My client) told the police everything was consensual.”

Magistrate Jennifer Batts will sentence the teen on June 3.

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