A middle-aged man took advantage of a 15-year-old girl via Facebook sending sexually explicit messages while encouraging her to experiment sexually.
A middle-aged man took advantage of a 15-year-old girl via Facebook sending sexually explicit messages while encouraging her to experiment sexually.

Teen girl groomed to play nude karaoke online

A MAN who developed an "unnatural infatuation" with a 15-year-old girl groomed the teenager to play naked karaoke with him on social media.

Richard James Finch, 54, was found guilty by a jury on February 23 this year of grooming a child under 16 years with intent to procure engagement in a sexual act and two counts of sexual assault.

The Townsville District Court heard Finch groomed the girl over a year from October 1, 2017 to September 28, 2018.

Finch communicated with the 15-year-old girl via Facebook Messenger sending sexually explicit messages while encouraging her to explore and experiment with her sexuality.

The court heard Finch also encouraged the girl to participate in nude activities including naked karaoke and 'get the hippy on'.

After the girl turned 16-years-old on September 28, 2018 Finch let her drive his car.

While the two were in the car together, Finch touched the girl's thigh and groin before kissing her.

Crown prosecutor Molly Mahlouzarides presented Judge Gregory Lynham with a victim impact statement written by the now 18 year old girl.

"I am stronger for what happened but I can't trust anyone ever again," she said.

"I hope I never see him again in my dreams or real life."

Ms Mahlouzarides said in the following months after the offending in the car, Finch sent the teenager Facebook messages apologising for his behaviour.

Finch was arrested on August 7, 2019 after police raided his property.

During the raid police found 72g of marijuana.

He has spent 311 days in pre-sentence custody.

The court heard Finch had a relevant previous criminal history for indecent treatment of a child.

Defence barrister Frank Richards said his client had a "difficult upbringing" and had been diagnosed with depressive disorder.

"Mr Finch was subjected to physical and sexual abuse by a sequence of stepfathers who ruined his life," he said.

Judge Lynham told Finch he had an "unnatural infatuation" for his victim.

"Your infatuation evolved to the point where you developed a sexual interest in her," he said.

"It was clear from the victim impact statement that was provided by her that your offending upon her had ongoing detrimental effects upon her."

Finch was sentenced to two years' jail suspended after serving 311 days in jail for an operational period of three years.

Judge Lynham also placed Finch on a two year probation order.

Convictions were recorded.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

Originally published as Teen girl groomed to play nude karaoke online


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