COURT: Stepfather shone torch at girl's genitals
"I BLAME myself every day for everything. I hurt inside to the point I don't want to exist."
Those were the words a victim of sexual abuse said in Hervey Bay District Court in front of her predator - a man she once called "dad."
The 38-year-old Fraser Coast man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was jailed last week for exploiting his stepdaughter while married to her mum.
The court heard the man persistently offended on the girl over a number of years when she was aged from 11-16.
When the girl was about 12, the man removed her clothing and used a torch to look at her genitals.
In another incident he asked her to lay down naked with her legs apart, and took photos of her.
When the girl was older he masturbated as she lay next to him and asked her to play with herself, which she did.
She informed her mum of the offending after the pair separated.
Too mortified to speak of what happened, the teen wrote the details on a piece of paper.
The girl sobbed in court as details of his crimes were read out.
When it was her time to give an impact statement, she said the man had taken away her childhood and made it difficult for her to trust people.
"I don't think he'll understand how much he has destroyed my sisters, my mother, and myself," she said.
"The constant anxiety and nightmares, he'll never know.
"I don't want to feel like this."
Judge David Reid told her: "You should never blame yourself for what he did to you."
The convicted sex offender began to cry from the criminal dock at her words.
The man, who had no criminal history and recently relocated to New South Wales, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years jail.
He will be eligible for parole in eight months.