Gymnastics coach Taylor Farrell will serve 3 months for sexually abusing a 12 year old student. Somehow the judge thought his crime was NOT predatory.
A Sunbury gymnastics coach sexually penetrated a 12 yr old child at least once a week for more than two years, including at the gymnasium he taught at, a court has heard.
Taylor Farrell, now 27, was sentenced in the County Court yesterday to three months’ jail after pleading guilty to a charge of sexually penetrating a child under 16.
Farrell was a coach at Gymnastics Unlimited in Kealba when he met his then 12-year-old victim several years ago.
Farrell communicated with the girl via Facebook messenger. The court heard Farrell “groomed” his victim by paying her compliments, including telling her she was pretty.
The court heard the offending occurred “at least once a week” until mid-2014 at places including Farrell’s home, his car, at Sunbury Park and in the “foam pit” at the Kealba gymnasium after hours. He told his victim to say she was 16 if anyone at his home asked how old she was.
His conduct was eventually reported to Gymnastics Victoria who referred the matter to police. Farrell was arrested in November 2018 but wasn’t charged until May last year.
He denied having a sexual relationship with the victim or knowing the girl’s real age despite it appearing on her Facebook profile. However, he later pleaded guilty at a contested committal hearing. The victim, in a statement, said she “felt disgusted” every time she had sex with (was sexually abused by) Farrell.
“I see now what Taylor did to me was wrong,” the victim said.
Farrell’s defence lawyer said there was “little or no evidence the victim had suffered or was likely to suffer”.
Ok, this statement is so ignorant. How can anyone possibly believe that a 12 year old girl being sexually abused by a 20 year old man is NOT suffering, or likely to suffer in the future.
Judge Michael O’Connell accepted the offending lacked predatory behaviour. He also said the prosecution’s submission Farrell groomed his victim was “misplaced”.
SHE WAS 12 YEARS OLD, of course she was groomed.
How can a 20 year old man sexually abusing a 12 year old girl NOT be considered to be predatory and using grooming techniques ?
In that case, I’d like to know what does
constitute predatory behaviour ?
This case highlights loudly and clearly a MASSIVE issue we have in our legal system. The fact a judge can believe that a coach sexually abusing a 12 year old was not predatory is beyond my comprehension.
How is it not grooming ?
Telling her she was pretty… this was a gymnastics coach, not a friend her own age.
Someone who was in a position of power.
Judge O’Connell took into account the delay since the offending took place, Farrell’s immaturity and his guilty plea. However, Judge O’Connell said Farrell must serve some jail time.
“The fact that the victim was so young, that is 12 years of age at the beginning of this offending, and the fact that the presumption of harm is not rebutted, means that general deterrence, just punishment and denunciation still have a role to play,” Judge O’Connell said.
Farrell was jailed for three months and ordered to complete an 18-month community correction order. He was also entered as a registered sex offender for 15 years.
How can a gymnastics coach think abusing a 12 year old is ok ?
How can a judge think it’s not predatory or grooming behaviour ?
Our system is seriously broken and Farrell should be serving 12 years (recommended maximum sentence for someone raping a child under 16 in VIC) not 3 pathetic months !