Former pastor found guilty of five sex offences

A FORMER pastor, who fled the law for seven years, has been found guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter's 12-year-old best friend and indecent treatment of children.

An Ipswich jury found the 51-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victims, guilty of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child, and four counts of indecently treating a child under 16 in care.

In 2005 the man, after an affair with the girl's mother ended, began abusing the then 12-year-old girl. He bought his daughter and the girl sex toys and lingerie which he forced them to wear around the house.

He would show the girl and his daughter pornography, and sexually abused the girl over a period of months.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta described the man as having a "guilty passion" for the girl. The man had admitted to police to touching the girl's genitals while he was conducting the affair with her mother.

After the girls told their school counsellor about the abuse in 2005, he was arrested and charged with multiple offences.

However, as the matter was set to be sent to the District Court, the man disappeared. Despite an interstate manhunt for him, police failed to locate him for seven-and-a-half years.

He was finally found in a small town outside Alice Springs. He was arrested and extradited back to Queensland.

The man was found guilty of five of the 13 charges he was facing. He was found not guilty of six counts of rape, and one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on one count of rape.

He pleaded guilty before the trial to two further charges of indecently treating a child under 12 in care.

He will be sentenced on May 29. He was remanded in custody until that date.



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