Frank James Pardon, 70, pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges of sexual-related acts on a 14-year-old at court on Tuesday. Photo: Patrick Woods
Frank James Pardon, 70, pleaded not guilty to all 11 charges of sexual-related acts on a 14-year-old at court on Tuesday. Photo: Patrick Woods

Flowers at school: Councillor denies child sex acts

A NOOSA councillor charged with having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl at her workplace, in his car and at his home allegedly told her he "never forgot" her years later in a recorded conversation.

Frank James Pardon, 70, repeated "not guilty" in a clear voice, leaning towards the microphone at Maroochydore District Court today as he faced 11 sexual-related charges towards a teenager over four months in the 1990s.

The victim, who was 14 and 15 years old at the time of the alleged offences, met Pardon socially before seeing him at her former workplace and the location of multiple of the alleged offences.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings told the jury of seven men and five women how the victim was restocking the drinks fridge at her workplace when Pardon allegedly grabbed her body and stroked her thighs.

Mr Cummings said this was the first of multiple offences where Pardon, who was in his 40s at the time, also allegedly pulled down her pants and performed oral sex as she was waiting for a lift.

The court heard the details of one of the alleged offences where Pardon, who was married at the time, is accused of pulling over his car on their way to get videos and pulled down her underwear, penetrated her and performed oral sex on her.

Frank Pardon leaves Maroochydore Court. Photo: Patrick Woods
Frank Pardon leaves Maroochydore Court. Photo: Patrick Woods

"He said he loved her and wished she could be his wife," Mr Cummings told the jury.

Mr Cummings said it was the crown case that the victim also woke up one night to Pardon on top of her when she was staying at his home.

He said some of the sexual behaviour was witnessed by the victim's school friend on a day at a public pool.

Mr Cummings said the witness would tell the jury how she watched Pardon kiss the victim and fondle under her skirt after he gave them alcohol.

The alleged behaviour continued for several months where Pardon brought roses to the victim's school on Valentine's Day.

Mr Cummings said the victim did not have contact with Pardon for many years after that day until a recorded conversation where Pardon gives "admissions" of his "sexual interest" and that "something occurred".

Mr Cummings also said a witness and Pardon's friend would give evidence on how he told her he'd "fallen in love" with a minor.

"We had a magnetic attraction between us … it went on for a while … I believed at the time she felt all grown up because of the sexual activity between us…," Mr Cummings said the witness would say.

The victim reported the incidents in 2017 after speaking to an outpatient service at a hospital.

Pardon, who looked towards to jury for majority of the opening statement, had been in Noosa Council since 1997 and is still a currently councillor.

He is charged with five counts of indecent treatment to a person under 16, five counts incident treatment to a person under 16 while under care and one count of maintaining a relationship with a child.

The alleged victim gave evidence in a closed courtroom this afternoon with a shield between herself and Pardon.

The trial is expected to run until Monday and will continue tomorrow.


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