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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Australia: Adeleide man charged with underage sex, HIV exposure

The South Australian Supreme Court yesterday overruled a decision by Adeleide Magistrates Court last Friday to release on strict home detention bail a 38 year-old HIV-positive man charged with "endangering life" for having "unlawful sexual intercourse" with two underage girls. The man has been in custody since May 26th and will remain in jail until his next court appearance in August.

The man, whose name and photo have not been published due to a court order, was allegedly in a relationship with one of the girls which began when she was 14 and ended "in April or May this year when the girl was 17," according to a report from The (Adeleide) Advertiser.

There are no details regarding the HIV status of either girls, so this appears to be primarily an underage sex case with aggravated charges for HIV exposure. Nevetheless, the circumstances regarding the second complainant appear to be not only underage sex, but also forced sex.

Prosecutor Lucy Boord told the court the man had drugged a 13-year-old with benzodiazepine and had unprotected sex with her. "Despite him being charged and arrested in relation to the 13-year-old girl that the administered drug related to, he's then gone on and continued a relationship, we say, with another complainant who was 14 at the time their relationship began in 2006," Ms Boord said.

The man's lawyer argued that the circumstances between the two alleged crimes were very different.

Anthony Allen, for the accused, said there had only been a "two-day" window between police laying charges for both victims. He said police "saw fit" to grant the man bail for charges relating to the 13-year-old which were "arguably on more serious and aggravated circumstances" than the girl with which he is accused of being in a relationship.

However, Justice Michael David overruled the possibility of bail with strict home detention which had previously been given to Stuart McDonald.

"In my view there is a real risk he will offend again, especially as far as the charge of endangering life is concerned if he was granted any type of bail. In my view it would be very difficult to craft conditions to stop that being a reality."



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