CONTENT WARNING: Child sexual assault
A Robertson man who sexually assaulted and took photographs of a "comatose" teenage girl he met on social media has been sentenced to jail.
Jeffrey Robert Henry, 51, a Canadian national from Robertson, appeared at Goulburn District Court from custody on February 12. He pleaded guilty to sexual intercourse without consent, and two charges of intentionally recording an intimate image without consent.
The crown prosecutor presented to the court that Henry had "sexually penetrated" the 17-year-old while she was "passed out" from alcohol consumption. The crown said Henry had also "posed" and "placed [the victim] in a position where parts of her body were exposed in the photograph" while she was in a "comatose state" .
"There is a high degree of exploitation of this [girl] by this man on this occasion," the crown said.
"The photographs are important because they show a sexual interest while she was comatose."
The crown presented to the court that a sexual assault test conducted at Wollongong Hospital found Henry's DNA, not sperm, in the victim's genitals.
Judge Mark Williams said the incident occurred in February, 2020 after Henry "befriended" the victim through an alias on social media.
Judge Williams told the court that four years before the incident Henry created a fake Facebook profile to "talk to young women". He said the accused used the alias 'Lauren' who he claimed lived in Bomaderry. The judge said Henry made contact with the victim through this alias when he responded to her advert for dog walking services. He said Henry then arranged to meet in the South Coast.
He said on the day of the offence Henry told the victim Lauren was hungover and couldn't make it. The judge presented to the court that Henry then bought the underage girl alcohol at a pub before taking her back to his Robertson home.
Judge Williams said the accused "sent a message to [the victim] from the Lauren profile encouraging her to have sex with him".
The judge told the court that Henry had "exploited [the victim's] vulnerability" and "gave her enough alcohol to make her pass out and could not consent".
The judge said when the victim "was distressed" when she woke the next morning. He said the offender then took additional photographs of her in the shower and lent her underwear while she was in a "groggy state".
The judge told the court that Henry told police the next day there was "no intercourse" because he was "too drunk".
Judge Williams said members of Henry's family had been murdered with an axe in Canada when he was 17-years-old.
Barrister Scragg spoke in defence of his client. He said the crown could "not prove beyond reasonable doubt" that Henry had sexually assaulted the girl. He said the DNA found could have been deposited through a towel, the underwear or the bed.
Henry was sentenced to three years and two months in prison backdated to the time of arrest. He received a non-parole period of 22 months.
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