Three teenage girls were touched by a man who knew their parents.
Three teenage girls were touched by a man who knew their parents.

‘Disgusted’: Three victims watch as child molester jailed

THREE women watched as the man who touched them when they were teenagers was jailed.

Mark William Hunter, now 50, sat emotionless in the dock at Maroochydore District Court yesterday as he was jailed for sexually assaulting the girls in the late 1990s and 2000s.

They were children and teenagers at the time and Hunter knew their parents.

The court heard his most serious offending occurred against one of the girls who was the victim of his advances for two-and-a-half years.

She was aged between 10 and 14 and her family was living in the Gympie region.

Crown prosecutor Will Slack said Hunter's advances began in December 1997 when he showed the girl a pornographic movie.

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"From this point he started touching her on a regular basis when no one else was in the room," Mr Slack said.

"He groped her breasts and bottom or rubbed her legs and this continued on a regular basis until May 2000.

"From 2000 … the offending escalated to him digitally penetrating her vagina."

The court heard this continued twice a week for a few months and Hunter would occasionally place the girl's hand on his penis.

Another teenager was victim to Hunter during the same period, when she was aged 13 and 14.

Hunter entered the girl's room and asked if he could have sex with her.

"He pulled out his erect penis and penetrated her vagina," Mr Slack said.

"It hurt (the girl) so she told him to stop, which he did."

When the third woman was 17 she asked Hunter for a lift from Maroochydore to Gympie.

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The court heard he touched her breasts, and rubbed her legs and vagina outside her underwear.

Hunter initially told police he couldn't recall all of his advances on the girls because he was frequently using marijuana at the time.

He yesterday pleaded guilty to eight charges including two counts of sexual assault and one count of carnal knowledge of a girl aged 12-16.

Defence barrister Simone Bain said the remorse Hunter felt was evidenced by a phone call he had with one of the women where he said he was "disgusted" by his actions.

She said the father-of-three's marriage of 30 years had ended when the offences came to light.

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Judge Gary Long said Hunter's actions had a long-harboured emotional impact on the women.

"There is a need for this court to reflect the level of abhorrence there is in the community for offending of this kind and particularly here, where it occurs in relation to a number of vulnerable complainants," Mr Long said.

Hunter was sentenced to five years and nine months' prison.

He will be eligible for parole on March 22, 2022.



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