'Vital volunteer' convicted of shocking child sex crimes
A MAN who now serves the Fraser Coast community in a vital volunteer role, used to sexually abuse a young girl.
Details of the child sex crimes the 58-year-old committed on his stepdaughter more than 20 years ago have been revealed in court.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay District Court on Monday to five counts of indecent treatment of a child under care and two counts of indecent treatment of a child.
Crown prosecutor Katrina Overell said the offences were committed over about five years.
The first was in 1989 when the victim was aged six, in a car while the pair was on a fishing trip.
"He rubbed his penis against her vagina," Ms Overell said.
"She was confused with what was happening and pretended to be asleep."
The incidents escalated, which included the man ordering the girl tasks and masturbating in front of her.
He took her on a work trip once and took advantage of her as she slept in the back of his van.
In his final offence on the girl, which was initially an attempted rape charge before being downgraded, the girl threatened to tell her mum.
"He never touched her again," Ms Overell said.
Defence barrister Liam Dollar spoke of his client's achievements, which included winning awards for his work.
Upon hearing this, Judge John Robertson commented: "It's often the pillars of the community that have a dark past."
The man was given a three-year suspended jail sentence.
He served 357 days in presentence custody.