Facebook message leads to man's arrest over crimes in 1990s

A FORMER foster carer is accused of sex crimes against a girl he cared for decades ago.

Looking shaken and distraught, Paul Rognvald Groundwater appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday on two charges of indecent treatment of a child.

The court heard Mr Groundwater and his wife cared for foster children in the 1990s, and recently decided to find the children on Facebook to see what they were up to.

When the alleged victim saw a photograph of Mr Groundwater, she linked him to the man who allegedly abused her.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Michael Quirk said the victim recalled her attacker to be "quite built," "chubby," with "square glasses" - all of which match Mr Groundwater.

The 51-year-old man's defence lawyer Angus Edwards argued that Mr Groundwater's arrest was a case of a mistaken identity.

"He came and occasionally looked after the children; there were a number of other people who also helped out," Mr Edwards said.

"It's an issue of identification."

The victim, who lives in the Wide Bay region, was aged about five when the alleged crimes took place.

Originally she decided not to report Mr Groundwater to police as she was not certain he was her attacker, the court heard, but after a consultation with police she decided to press the charges.

The case will be mentioned next on March 28.

Mr Groundwater is from Capalaba, a suburb near Brisbane.



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