BRISBANE – An Australian dad has made legal history in Brisbane Australia for being convicted of hiring a Bar Girl for his 13-year-old son on a family holiday to Koh Samui Thailand.
The man, who cannot be named to protect his son’s identity, is believed to be the first person charged under recently introduced child sex tourism laws aimed at stopping Australian pedophiles from preying on foreign children.
In a case described by the judge as “bizarre”, the father pleaded guilty to procuring a child to engage in sex outside Australia.
The court heard the man, his wife and their son travelled to the resort of Koh Samui for a friend’s wedding in September 2012.
Australian prosecutor Laura-Leigh Manville said the father got drunk at the buck’s party and told his son he did not want him returning to Australia “without losing his virginity”.
The man arranged a prostitute, paid her, inspected the room to ensure there were condoms and waited downstairs while his son had sex, Ms Manville said.
She said the man later asked his son “how it was” and told him not to tell his mother.
The court was told the mother made a formal complaint to police after an “acrimonious” marriage split and an altercation between the man and his son.
In a phone conversation recorded by police, the father told his estranged wife that he had taken their son to “get f—ed”.
Ms Manville said it was “a gross dereliction of parental responsibility”.
Defence barrister Andrew Christie said his client “accepts responsibility for allowing his son to engage with a prostitute and realises his behaviour was wrong”.
He said a psychologist who was treating the man for severe depression had concluded there was no risk of re-offending.
Judge Michael Shanahan said the law under which the father was charged was introduced in 2010 to stop the “evil” exploitation of foreign children.
Judge Shanahan sentenced the man to 12 months’ jail but released him on a $2000, two-year good behaviour bond.
Outside court, arresting officer Detective Sergeant Michael Froggatt, of the Bayside Crime Group’s Child Protection Investigation Unit, said the case showed that “parental responsibility does not stop at Australia’s borders”.