A CENTRAL Victorian man has been jailed for six months after he repeatedly sexually abused his young niece.
The 54-year-old man was sentenced in the County Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual penetration of a child under 16.
The court heard the man started abusing his niece when the girl was 12 years old.
Over a four-year period, the man sexually assaulted the girl on four separate occasions.
The offending took place at the girl's home, the man's property, and at a family friend's house.
The victim disclosed the abuse to a psychologist in mid-2018. The psychologist subsequently reported the incidents to police.
The man was arrested and interviewed in July 2018. He told police he used to "do a lot of things" with the girl and that he would often stay overnight at her house.
The man responded with "no comment" when asked about the allegations, but later told police he was "deeply sorry for whatever (he had) done wrong".
In her sentencing remarks, Judge Sarah Dawes said it was clear the victim had been "distressed and traumatised" from the man's offending.
"No doubt, it has had a profound effect on the victim and her father," Judge Dawes said. "The harm you have caused continues to plague them."
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Judge Dawes said in sentencing, she would take into account the man's diagnosed moderate intellectual disability, which made him prone to impulsive and inappropriate behaviour.
But the judge said the man's disability could not account for his actions.
Judge Dawes noted the man had a low risk of sexual reoffending and his rehabilitation prospects were good.
But the judge said she still needed to acknowledge that the objective gravity of the offending was high.
The man was convicted and sentenced to six months in jail. He was ordered to complete a two-year community corrections order upon his release.
The man will also be on the sex offenders register for 15 years.
Judge Dawes said if he had not pleaded guilty, the man would have been jailed for three years with a non-parole period of 18 months.
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