Sentence summary: child sex offence
A man who sexually assaulted two young girls in their beds with their stepfather was placed on a community corrections order.
Matthew Granieri, 63, pleaded guilty to three charges of committing an indecent act with a child under the age of 16.
He was sentenced to a three-year Community Corrections Order as well as 250 hours of community service and mental health assessment.
The offender would routinely drink with the victims’ stepfather in their family home.
One night, when the victims’ mother went to bed early, the offender and the stepfather sexually abused the two young girls.
The victims were aged between nine and 12 years old.
The offender forced one of the girls to touch his penis through his clothes and then went into the next bedroom and touched and licked the vagina of her sister.
At the same time, the victim’s stepfather was committing similar acts against his children.
The sentencing judge said the offending was a serious breach of trust.
"The offending occurred in the sanctity of their bedrooms, a place usually cherished by a young girl," the judge said.
"It occurred in the very place where each of these girls was entitled to feel safe."
An aggravating factor was that the offender was aware the victims’ stepfather had expressed sexual fantasies about the victims.
"You were aware that their stepfather was expressing sexual interest in them and that they were vulnerable to sexual activity," the judge said.
The presiding judge also rejected the offender’s defence that the girls were to blame.
"You have attempted to shift blame to your victims, claiming that the first victim not only called you to her bedroom, but then grabbed your penis and played with it. I reject both aspects of that claim entirely," the judge said.
When considering the sentence, the judge acknowledged several mitigating factors including an early guilty plea and the willingness to provide evidence against the victim’s stepfather.
The offender also undertook weekly personal psychotherapy at his own expense, even taking time off work to ensure the course as completed.
Additionally, the offender has no prior convictions and strong family support.
The victim’s stepfather was sentenced to 13 and a half years prison with a non-parole period of 10 years.
The offender provided important testimony in a second trial after the stepfather’s first trial returned a hung jury.
The offender was placed on the Sex Offender Register for 15 years.