A MAN has fronted court after he was found guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting and raping a young boy in the 1970s.
The 71-year-old man appeared in the County Court on Friday for a plea hearing.
A jury last November found him guilty of seven counts of indecent assault on a male person and one count of buggery with a person under 14.
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Court documents released to the Bendigo Advertiser said the boy was about eight or nine years old at the time of the offending, while the man was in his late-20s.
The boy lived on the same central Victorian street as the man and was a friend of the man's younger brother.
Over a period of several months during the mid-1970s, the man repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy in secluded areas and in front of other men.
On one occasion, the man violently raped the boy while in the back seat of a car.
In a statement read to the court, the victim said he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression as a result of the abuse.
The victim said those conditions had put stress on his marriage and family life, and he had trouble forming and maintaining friendships.
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Defence counsel James Fitzgerald told the court the 71-year-old man had been diagnosed with a personality disorder after an "unfortunate" childhood.
Mr Fitzgerald said his client's early life had been marred by the violence and alcoholism of his father.
The defence counsel said the man started drinking alcohol at an early age and it became a major problem for him.
Mr Fitzgerald said that led to the diagnosis of a personality disorder, which was present during the offending in the 1970s.
Psychological reports tendered to the court said that disorder lowered the man's inhibitions, increased his impulsivity, and led him to use sex to cope with negative mood states.
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Mr Fitzgerald said there was a clear link between the personality disorder and the man's offending.
"I do not submit that he has no moral culpability," the defence counsel said. "But moral culpability needs to be seen in this light."
Mr Fitzgerald also submitted his client's advanced age, physical health, and COVID-19 protocols would make his time in jail more difficult.
Crown prosecutor David Glynn told the court the man's offending had been repeated over the span of some months and there was evidence of pre-planning, which showed the man was not acting impulsively.
But Mr Glynn conceded the 71-year-old did have a personality disorder at the time of the offending.
The man was remanded in custody. He is due to return to the County Court next month for sentencing.
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