A MAN who admitted to grooming and sexually abusing several young girls does not have a sexually deviant or paraphilic disorder, a court has been told.
Luke Peter Joseph Coughlan, 43, appeared in the County Court on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including grooming a child under 16, sexual penetration of a child under 16, and knowingly possessing child abuse material.
During his May plea hearing, the court heard Coughlan abused at least five teenage girls between 2009 and 2019.
The 43-year-old met the girls through online chat sites like Omegle, before telling the teens to photograph and film themselves engaging in degrading sexual acts and self harm.
He then instructed the girls to send the child abuse material to him. There were hundreds of photos and videos of the victims and unidentified underage girls found on his devices.
Coughlan also travelled to meet up with the girls who were based in the United States, Western Australia, and northern Victoria.
On one occasion in 2013, Coughlan met up with the American girl and videotaped the sexual abuse.
He also repeatedly sexually assaulted a young girl in northern Victoria over two years.
Coughlan's defence counsel Martin Kozlowski in May told the court that Coughlan did not have a "specific attraction" to underage girls.
Mr Kozlowski said the victims had "mature" bodies and Coughlan was instead interested in the bondage and control elements of the interactions.
Judge David Sexton ordered a second psychological report because there was a "glaring gap" in the material.
The judge said he needed a further assessment to determine Coughlan's risk of reoffending.
The second psychological report was tendered to the County Court on Tuesday.
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The report found Coughlan did not have a sexually deviant or paraphilic disorder, and instead sought out young girls because he had low self-esteem and wanted to exert some control in his life.
The report also noted that Coughlan's risk of sexual reoffending was moderate to low.
Mr Kozlowski spoke to the findings, saying the age of Coughlan's victims was "incidental".
The defence counsel said his client had only been seeking out females that he could dominate rather than underage girls.
Mr Kozlowski said Coughlan was much less likely to reoffend because he was not sexually interested in children.
Prosecutor Justin Lewis told the court while it was "difficult" to say what Coughlan's rehabilitation prospects were, his moral culpability was at a high level.
Mr Lewis said it was questionable as to whether Coughlan showed genuine remorse, especially in relation to the American victim.
The prosecutor said Coughlan still referred to the abuse as a "serious relationship" between him and the 13-year-old.
Mr Kozlowski said while Coughlan had always described that victim as a person he thought he was in love with, it did not mean he was unremorseful for his crimes.
Judge Sexton said he would need some time to decide on sentence.
The case was adjourned to a date yet to be fixed and Coughlan was remanded in custody.
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