Cousin's sexual assault: Puberty 'not an excuse'

TWO young women sat in court today as their cousin who sexually assaulted them seven years ago faced judgement for his crimes.  

Their sobs could be heard as crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso described the incident in which the man, now 20, forced the sisters into sex acts in their family backyard.  

Afterwards he told them "not to tell anyone or he would hurt them" Ms Kelso told the court.   

It wasn't until November 2014 the two girls told their parents what had happened.   

Ms Kelso said it was clear from the Victim Impact Statement penned by the girls' mother, the incident had a significant impact on both the victims and the family.   

Defence lawyer Geoff Seaholme said testing showed the man ranked in the "low percentile in relation to intelligence and other social factors that make up a person".   

He said given the man was 13-years-old at the time and going through puberty he was likely curious about women, although that wasn't an excuse for assault.  

Judge Horneman-Wren sentenced the man, whose only criminal history related to marijuana use, to 18 month's probation and did not record a conviction against him, as he was a child himself at the time.  

He said the man's threat to use violence if the girls spoke out was of particular concern.   

"It would have been extremely frightening for them and explains why they didn't come forward for some time," Judge Horneman-Wren said.   


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