A former security guard for the Children’s Court has been released on a good behaviour bond after being found guilty of having sex with a 14-year-old girl – a charge that carries a maximum sentence of ten years.
32-year-old Franco Abad seemingly received sympathy from County Court Judge Christopher Ryan, who said the ways in which honest-to-god grown adults have sex with minors “can vary immensely.”
The court heard Abad believed the girl, whom he met outside the court building he worked at, was 17 when they met – therefore one year older than Victoria’s age of consent.
Several weeks into their “relationship”, the victim clued her school welfare coordinator into her circumstances. From there, police were informed, and they told Abad she was living in a residential care facility and was actually 14.
Following an argument in which the victim disputed the police’s claims, Abad “ended the relationship.” Regardless, he confessed to one more instance of sexual intercourse with the victim after discovering her actual age.
Judge Ryan said “he [then] goes to bed and is joined by a young woman. Well, he’s not made of steel.”
He went on to say “there’s nothing unnatural about having sex,” and “the human aspect of it is readily understandable if I can put it that way.”
The victim was also typified by Judge Ryan as “worldly” and “older than her years.”
To recap: Children’s Court security guard has sex with a 14-year-old, whom he met at a workplace designed to protect vulnerable minors, after learning she was well and truly underage.
And the judge gave him a good behaviour bond, claiming he’s “absolutely satisfied that this man has learned his lesson.”
Boggling. Absolutely boggling.