Prison time for teen sex crimes

Michael Rymer leaving Bendigo County Court on Tuesday
Michael Rymer leaving Bendigo County Court on Tuesday

A man who paid an intellectually disabled boy to perform a sex act on two teenagers has been jailed for 12 months.

Michael Leslie Rymer, of Maryborough, pleaded guilty in Bendigo County Court on Tuesday to two charges of being party to an indecent act in the presence of a child under 16 and two counts of procuring a person to take part in the sexual penetration of a child under 16.

The indecent act was reported to police after a video of the incident circulated throughout the Maryborough community earlier this year.

Rymer plied the three boys, a 16-year-old and two 15-year-olds, with alcohol and cigarettes in a shed at the rear of the home he shared with his mother in February.

The 45-year-old then encouraged the older boy to perform an indecent act in front of himself and the two other boys.

The court heard Rymer also offered the boy $40 to perform a sex act on the boys.

Rymer paid the two boys $50 each to accept the sex act.

Defence barrister Kellie Blair told the court her client had no prior convictions and was a man of good character who had inexplicably engaged in serious offending.

She said Rymer was a socially isolated man, with a good work history, who dedicated his time to caring for his ill mother.

The court heard Rymer worked at the YMCA for 11 years before leaving to work as a handy man and toilet cleaner three years ago. He was Maryborough's Young Citizen of the Year at the age of 21.

Ms Blair said her client deeply regretted the "spontaneous" and "one-off" incident and asked the court to consider imposing a community corrections order.

But, Judge Mark Dean said it would be irresponsible to release Rymer on a community-based sentence.

Judge Dean said although psychological reports indicated Rymer was not attracted to children and had good prospects of rehabilitation, his knowledge of the victim's intellectual disability was an aggravating factor.

He also noted the traumatising effect Rymer's conduct had on the boys, two of whom provided victim impact statements to the court.

Judge Dean jailed Rymer for 12 months, with a non-parole period of eight months, and ordered he report as a sex offender for 15 years.

Had Rymer not pleaded guilty, he would have faced two years in jail, with a non-parole period of 15 months.

Having already served 161 days in custody, Rymer will be eligible for release in November.

The maximum penalty for each charge is 10 years' jail.