•Man pleads guilty to persistent sexual abuse of a child in Burwood court
•He is accused of ‘marrying’ and having sex with a 12-year-old girl
•Police allege the man married the girl in an Islamic ceremony in January
A man accused of ‘marrying’ and having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl has pleaded guilty to ongoing child sex abuse.
The 27-year-old Lebanese student, who can’t be named, pleaded guilty in Burwood Local Court on Thursday to one count of persistent sexual abuse of a child, which carries a 25-year maximum jail sentence.
The charge takes in 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 10 and 14, with which the man was originally charged.
He has been ordered not to contact his victim for two years, and a date for sentencing will be decided next week.
Police allege the man married the Hunter Valley girl in an Islamic ceremony earlier this year.
The girl’s father will face trial next year.
The father allegedly organised his daughter’s marriage to the Lebanese immigrant because he wanted to stop her from ‘committing a life of sin’.
He has been charged with procuring a child under 14 for unlawful sexual activities, and being an accessory before the fact to sexual intercourse with a person under 14.
Court documents say the Hunter Valley girl met the 27-year-old student at a mosque last year after he approached her father and asked to meet her.
Police allege the young girl’s father enabled his daughter’s sexual assault by organising the unlawful marriage – including allowing them to swap phone numbers and meet three times in the family home before the ceremony.
The couple spent their wedding night at a motel in the Hunter region where they had sex several times, police allege.
A week after the wedding, the father asked the girl’s older siblings to put two single mattresses next to each other to make a queen size bed so the couple had a bed in the family home.
The imam who performed the ceremony pleaded guilty to solemnising the marriage and was fined $500 after.
In court documents it is claimed that since the marriage the pair engaged in sexual activities on a daily basis until February when their relationship was discovered by a Centrelink worker, when the man tried to get registered as the girl’s legal guardian in order to obtain welfare benefits.
‘The girl has expressed a strong desire to start a family with the [then] 26-year-old,’ the police report states.
The man has had his student visa cancelled and is now living in an immigration detention centre.
via Australian Associated Press
Daily Mail Australia