DPP v Carter [2019] VCC 1893

Sentence summary: child sex offence

A registered sex offender and father of three was jailed after he sexually abused a 15-year-old girl.

Steven Carter, 46, pleaded guilty to one charge of performing an indecent act with a child under the age of 16, producing child pornography, possessing child pornography and failing to comply with reporting requirements.

He was sentenced to five years prison with a non-parole period of three years.

The offender had been placed on the Sex Offender Registry in 2008 after being convicted of attempting to take part in an act of sexual penetration of a child under 16 years.

The offender had to report any and all contact with children as part of his registration.

Despite multiple interactions with children through his 17-year-old partner, the offender did not report these instances.

Police found the offender with more than 80 sexually explicit photos of his girlfriend and the victim, a 15-year-old friend. The offender also took several explicit video recordings of the pair.

On one occasion, the three consumed alcohol and became sexually intimate with one another. The offender groped the victim’s breasts and vagina.

The presiding judge said due to the offender’s two prior convictions for similar crimes and the gravity of the new offending, a term of imprisonment was the only possible outcome.

"I must regard the protection of the community from you as the principal purpose for which the sentence is imposed," the judge said.

When considering the length of the sentence, the judge noted that the offender entered an early guilty plea which indicated some remorse.

Additionally, the judge gave weight to the fact the offender was facing substantially more serious charges while in custody, making any additional time more burdensome.

"I accept that your time in custody has been more burdensome given the stress and worry regarding the situation in respect of those more serious offences that you previously faced," the judge said.

The offender’s girlfriend provided a victim impact statement after the plea, which described the offender as controlling.

Due to the late admittance of the statement, it was ultimately not relied upon when deciding the length of the sentence.

The offender remains on the Sex Offender Registry for life.

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Page last updated: 26 August 2020