Man assaulted girl while wife slept

A MAN who sexually assaulted a child while his intellectually disabled wife slept next to them has wept as he told a court he was disgusted by his "vile" actions.

The man pleaded guilty in Bendigo County Court on Thursday to one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16.

Crown prosecutor Peter Jones said the man and his 13-year-old victim struck up a friendship when the girl began babysitting his infant child.

But the relationship soon became inappropriate when the man began sending sexually explicit Facebook messages to her.

Mr Jones told the court the pair were lying in the man's bed when he began kissing her, fondled her breasts and performed a sex act on her.

He then directed the girl to perform a sex act on him.

The court heard the offending occurred on three occasions during March this year, including two times when his wife was asleep next to them.

Defence barrister Stephen Payne said his client felt deep remorse and shame for his actions.

He called his client to the witness box where he told the court he thought about what he'd done "almost every day" and described his behaviour as disgusting and vile.

Mr Payne said while immediate imprisonment was warranted in cases involving children, he argued his client had no criminal history and was the sole carer of his wife.

He said the man's wife was dependent on him and tendered a report from the woman's doctor.

Judge Duncan Allen said it was clear the man was acutely aware of the devastation he had wreaked on his victim.

But he said he required more information about the level of the woman's impairment before being able to pass sentence. 

Judge Allen adjourned the case until November for further plea.

Editor's note: The man cannot be named for legal reasons.

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