Man pleads guilty to having sex with girl, 13

BEING introduced to a 13-year-old girl by a 14-year-old mutual female friend in 2014 has resulted in Ben Johns standing trial in the District Court.

The then 18-year-old Coraki man met the girl at Goonellabah on September 10, 2014, court documents revealed.

Police allege Johns picked up the two teenage girls in his car at Goonellabah and had sex with the 13-year-old girl in the back seat.

When the girl reported the alleged offence to police, officers attached to the Ballina Child Abuse Squad started an investigation.

This led to the arrest of Johns, who was charged with six offences at Ballina Police Station on February 2, 2016.

Charges included two counts of aggravated sexual intercourse involving a person older than 10, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, indecently assaulting a person under 16 years old and two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person older than 10 but less than 14.

When pleas of guilty were entered to the two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person older than 10 but less than 14, prosecutor Rod Behan withdrew the four remaining charges.

Lismore Magistrate David Heilpern ordered a full psychiatric report be prepared on Johns and adjourned his matters until August 1, for committal for trial.

Johns remains on conditional bail until his next court appearance.


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