Sentence summary: child sex offence
An autistic man with the mental age of a teenager has been placed on a community corrections order for sexually penetrating a teenage girl.
Troy Wilkinson, 28, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16, one charge of involving a child in the production of child abuse material and one charge of knowingly possessing child abuse material.
The offender was sentenced to a two-year Community Corrections Order and 250 hours of community work.
The offender met the 15-year-old victim on Facebook and began dating.
After discussing and initially declining to have sex, the pair agreed to have sexual intercourse in the back of the offender's car.
The Court heard that the victim gave evidence suggesting the offender was not comfortable with having sex.
"We just did it once, and he didn't want to do it but I kind of wanted it," the victim said.
The offender was also found with several explicit photos on his mobile phone of the victim sent by her.
The sentencing judge accepted expert medical evidence that concluded the offender had the mental maturity of a 16-year-old.
"On one assessment, you function in the bottom 1 per cent of the population," the judge said.
"You have been diagnosed with mild autism."
Due to a similar mental age, his genuine remorse and the low risk of re-offending, the culpability of the offender was significantly decreased.
The offender also has no prior convictions.
"I do not think that a right-minded member of the community would regard severe punishment as being required. I sentence with a sense of sadness rather than a sense of any anger," the judge said.
However, the judge believed the offender knew what he was doing was wrong and as such, he needed to be punished and the actions denounced.
"You were clearly, by reason of some of the Googling that you were doing, aware of her age, aware of the wrongs of it, and there has to be a denunciation to an extent of that awareness and continued wrongdoing," the judge said.
The offender was placed on the Sexual Offender Register for life.