Qld pastor jailed for molesting four kids
A CAPE York pastor will spend at least the next 11 months behind bars for molesting four children in his care, including one who was just seven.
The 60-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the children, sexually assaulted the girls between 2010 and 2018, including one incident where a 15-year-old victim was attacked twice in one day.
His behaviour was labelled "vile" by Judge Dean Morzone who sentenced him to three years jail in the Cairns District Court on Friday with a parole eligibility date in June next year.
The court heard he had worked as a pastor for more than two decades, but had also held a variety of other positions in the community including in the fishing industry and as a leader at a local Men's Shed.
"You had a degree of status in the community being a pastor and a community worker," Judge Morzone said.
"There was a degree of trust with the children in your home.
"Your conduct was vile to the children who were vulnerable in that place.
"You were a dangerous man to them in that place."
The court heard the victims included three sisters who lived next door, were culturally related and referred to him as "uncle".
The third was a distant relative who called him her "grandfather".
He pleaded guilty to six counts of indecent treatment of a child.
The indecent acts all occurred at the house he shared with his wife, at least one of which while she was at home.
In one incident during 2017 he forced one of the girls, aged between seven and nine at the time, into his bedroom and assaulted her.
Another time in 2018 he exposed himself to the 15-year-old while calling out her name.
The same year he attacked the girl from behind while she was doing the dishes and performed a sex act.
Defence barrister Josh Trevino argued his client suffered from a long term heart condition, had undergone two hip replacements and was carer for his wife, so would do it tougher in jail than others.
"He is not a sophisticated man," he said.
The court was told he was sentenced for similar offending in 2002 for inappropriately touching an eight-year-old girl.
Crown prosecutor Rachel Boivin labelled some of his conduct as "brazen", having occurred while his wife was home.
"It occurred in his house where the children had a right to feel safe," she said.
The court heard the offending came to light after one of the victims told another of their mothers what had occurred.
Originally published as Far North pastor jailed for molesting four kids