A former scout master has been imprisoned under new Queensland laws after sending dozens of sexual text messages to a 14-year-old boy.
A former Queensland scout master has become the first person to be jailed under new state laws targeting people who groom children for sex.
The 29-year-old was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, to be suspended after serving two months, for sending sexual text messages to a boy scout.
The administration worker, who has since left the Scouts, sent 88 text messages to the 14-year-old boy over 13 days in October last year, the Brisbane Magistrates Court heard on Wednesday.
He befriended the child and gave him a mobile phone before sending the texts.
Magistrate Anne Thacker said the full extent of the offending was unknown because the boy had deleted many of the messages under instruction from the scout master.
She said the man had abused his position of trust and placed the child in a difficult position.
“You set up a situation where he had to lie to his parents and he had to live a lie,” she said.
Defence barrister Peter Davies argued there were exceptional circumstances including that his client had been sexually assaulted at 18 and the offending was out of character.
However, Ms Thacker disagreed and imposed a custodial sentence, although one that fell well short of the maximum 10 years’ imprisonment.
The former scout master was convicted on his own guilty plea of grooming a child under 16 with intent to procure engagement in a sexual act.
The offence was introduced by the Newman government as part of a crackdown on child sex offenders and became law last April.