A Bendigo magistrate has told an Inglewood man his crime against a vulnerable woman was "unfathomable".
The 66-year-old Inglewood man, Ian Hall, has pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a woman after an AFL grand final day BBQ.
On September 29, 2023, Ian Hall went to the Inglewood IGA supermarket to buy alcohol, including a six-pack of beer and a long neck bottle of beer.
Woman assaulted with beer bottle
Under the influence of alcohol, he spoke to a male witness before briefly speaking to the female victim who has an intellectual disability.
The court heard Hall then rubbed the bottle over her shorts in her private areas.
The male witness then told Hall to the "get the f*** back to his house", before telling him he would call the police.
Hall explained in his interview with police that the "bottle rubbed mostly on her leg", that he was "a little tipsy" and "I'm very sorry".
He told police, "it was just a touch, not a hard one".
He also said that he was a teacher and he should not have been doing "stuff like that".
'Uncharacteristic' actions in contrast to references
The court heard Hall's defence team had supplied letters from the Bendigo Church of Christ and Wedderburn Community House, and also a letter of apology.
Magistrate Allison Vaughan said the references she had received "seemed in complete contrast" with Hall's offending, which she acknowledged was "uncharacteristic".
Despite significant community work, Ms Vaughan said it was still "a gross violation of someone's body".
The court heard Hall had pleaded guilty at a very early stage and had no prior history.
Hall's defence lawyer Kate Lawn told the court her client acknowledged his "very serious" actions, "aggravated by the vulnerability" of the victim.
Teacher apologised repeatedly for crime
Ms Lawn said he was deeply remorseful and, in his police interview, he apologised constantly.
She said he was otherwise a "compassionate, kind and caring" person.
The court heard Hall had previously taught in primary schools for 16 years and then operated a tutoring business that supported dyslexic and gifted children. He had also been a relief teacher.
Ms Lawn said her client had also volunteered regularly with the Wedderburn Community House and a local scout group alongside numerous other activities that acted as "protective factors" to reduce his chance of reoffending.
She also acknowledged her client had also undergone extra-curial punishment in the form of abuse in the community.
He has been placed on an 18-month community corrections order with conviction.
There will be no sex offender registration obligations, and he must complete 100 hours of community work with can include programs and treatments.