A MAN who sexually abused a 12-year-old boy in Bendigo in the 1970s has been sentenced to seven years in jail.
The 70-year-old man pleaded guilty in the County Court to six charges of indecent assault on a male person and four charges of buggery with a person under 14.
The charges relate to offending in the Bendigo area in 1973 and 1974 when the man was about 23 years old.
The court heard the man met the 12-year-old boy through a friendship with the boy's parents.
On three occasions, the man was in a car alone with the boy. The man placed the boy on his lap and instructed him to drive.
While the boy was sitting on the man's lap, the man kissed the back of the boy's neck and fondled him.
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The court heard the first time this happened, the boy asked the man to not touch him but the man said it was good for the boy.
The court heard on three occasions, the man took the boy into his home when he knew nobody else was there and sexually abused the boy.
The last time, the man took the boy away for a night. The man met up with two other men who were there with two young boys.
The man instructed the 12-year-old to sleep next to him. The man then took the boy's clothes off and sexually abused him for about 10 minutes.
The man abused the boy again the next morning, and then fondled him on the drive back to Bendigo.
The court heard the man returned to the boy's house a number of times after that incident but the boy would run and hide from the man.
The court heard the boy felt angry and scared after the abuse. The boy tried to tell his mother about the abuse but she would not listen to him.
The victim reported the abuse to police in August, 2018. In March last year, the victim conducted a pretext phone call with the man.
In the call, which was recorded by police, the man acknowledged what happened on the trip away. He also told the victim he was sorry and said he had a problem.
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The man was interviewed by police in March, 2019. He admitted to some of the offending but said he had been playing around with the victim.
The man was arrested and charged in August, 2019. He entered a guilty plea in February this year.
A victim impact statement submitted to the court said the victim had been "living in hell" as a result of the abuse.
The victim had been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and severe depression.
The victim told the court the man had taken away his innocence and childhood for his own sexual pleasure.
Judge Frank Gucciardo said the victim should be applauded for reporting the abuse, and that it was clear the harm to the victim had been "real and profound".
The Judge said the man had won the trust of the boy and the boy's family, and that the offending was an egregious and fundamental abuse of that trust.
Judge Gucciardo said the offending was exploitative, predatory, and clearly premeditated. The Judge said the man had used force and inflicted pain on a vulnerable young boy.
Judge Gucciardo said he took into account the man's age and the health conditions in his sentencing. But the Judge noted the man had no life-threatening conditions or mental health issues.
Judge Gucciardo also noted that the man had previously been convicted and sentenced to jail in 1986 for sexually abusing two young girls.
The 70-year-old was convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail with a non-parole period of four years and six months.
The man will be a registered sex offender for the rest of his life.
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