‘Like she’s broken’: Girl gave birth after rape by neighbour

 

A CAIRNS family was forced to hide a 12-year-old girl "from the world" and is still living in fear after she fell pregnant to an older teenage neighbour who has been sentenced for her rape.

The Cairns District Court heard the girl hid her pregnancy from her family for months. Her parents reported the matter to police when the father's age was discovered.

Crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald said the girl gave birth to a boy in Townsville where she was sent to live in the latter stages of the pregnancy.

The court heard the teen was 17 at the time, but now was aged 20 and had returned to live in the Torres Strait.

He was sentenced as a child, therefore cannot be named, and handed two years' probation after pleading guilty to rape on the premise the girl was too young to give consent.

The court heard she had been returning to her Westcourt home late at night in February, 2017, after a family argument where she met the boy who invited her to drink alcohol, before taking her inside his home where they had sex.

She was later asked in a police interview if she knew what sex was and responded: "I'm not too sure, but I know it happened."

Ms Friedewald handed up a victim impact statement penned by the girl's mother which detailed the trauma the girl and her family had faced.

"When they became aware of the pregnancy they hid themselves away," she said.

She told the court the family were forced to move out of their home of 18 years, the girl was teased and bullied for her "stretch marks" when she tried to return to school, has nightmares and feels "like she's broken and can't be fixed". The family fears facing the defendant's family.

Ms Friedewald also said they were worried the girl was heading down a "bad path" involving drinking, drugs and crime and were "doing their best" to stop it.

The court heard the male was rated a low to medium risk of reoffending.

Defence barrister Crystal Lovel said the incident was "opportunistic behaviour in the context of him being a teenager".

The court heard he also breached a good behaviour bond over a stolen car when he committed the rape.

Originally published as 'Like she's broken': Girl, 12, gave birth after rape by neighbour


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