‘Dad’ avoids jail for Christmas sexual assault
A CAIRNS stepfather has avoided jail for the Christmas sexual assault of the woman who called him "Dad."
The woman, 19, woke in the early hours of December 27, 2017, to find her stepfather, now 37, performing oral sex on her.
He had snuck into her room while she slept.
Cairns District Court this week heard the woman yelled and kicked out at the man, who ran from the room.
Later that morning he was woken by his partner who reminded him of the incident, but said he had no memory of the assault due to his drunken state.
He moved out that day.
The defendant, who cannot be named in order to protect his victim, appeared in court and pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault.
"It was a gross breach of trust by a family man on a vulnerable complainant who was asleep in her own bed," crown prosecutor Claudia Georgouras said.
"She was asleep and woke up to it occurring - it is unclear how long it lasted.
"(The complainant) had started calling him 'Dad' shortly before the offence."
Rachelle Logan, defending, told the court the defendant was "dismayed" by his own conduct.
"Before this offence he as a man of outstanding character," Ms Logan said.
"There was no evidence of premeditation - it could only be described as momentary."
She said the accused continued to support the family financially.
"The hardest part has been going away from a family he loved," Ms Logan said.
The court heard the defendant attended counselling 10 days after the sexual assault.
"It demonstrates that you showed insight into your offending," Judge Tracey Fantin said.
"You have expressed ongoing remorse for what you did.
"You have lost your family and have continued to support the complainant and your ex partner."
She sentenced the man to 14 months in jail, to be suspended for two years.