Echuca teen admits sex charge

An Echuca teenager faces 15 years on the sex offender register after having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.

The 19-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is required to be listed on the register after pleading guilty to one count of sexual penetration of a child under 16.

He appeared in the Victorian County Court yesterday to enter his plea.

The court heard the youth was 18 when he had consensual sex with his girlfriend, then 15, at her Echuca home on October 29 last year.

Prosecutor Natalie Burnett said the teen had not used a condom and that was an “aggravating factor” in the offence.

“The complainant took eight contraceptive tablets afterwards because she didn’t want to get pregnant,” Ms Burnett said.

“She said that made her feel sick.” 

The youth’s defence counsel said his client had turned 18 two months before the incident.

“Immaturity was a causal factor in the offending,” Mr Docherty said.

“They were quite close in age, only three years between the two.”

Mr Docherty said the incident was at the “low end” of offending, and his client had been assessed as a low risk of reoffending, having no prior convictions and no history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Judge Lance Pilgrim accepted this but said it was mandatory for him to place the teenager on the sex offender register for 15 years.

Mr Docherty said that should be punishment enough and requested only an adjourned undertaking or good behaviour bond on top.

“That is punishment in itself and very significant punishment,” he said.

But Ms Burnett said the prosecution was seeking a community corrections order. 

“It’s a serious offence and that is shown by the maximum sentence set by parliament,” she said.

Judge Pilgrim requested a CCO assessment be carried out, but said he wasn’t sure which way he was leaning.

Sentencing was adjourned until Monday.

“I will be able to reflect on the matter over the weekend,” Judge Pilgrim said to the teenager.

“I know you are very distressed about these things; so it doesn’t drag on it will be over and done with by Monday.”

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