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Friday, August 5, 2011

Man had sex with runaway teens

Sulaiman Kamal | 1:22 AM | | | | Best Blogger Tips

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A MAN has been jailed for two years for plying three teenage Sunshine Coast schoolgirl runaways with drugs and alcohol then having sex with two of them at a Brisbane inner-city apartment.

The Brisbane Supreme Court was told Darren Jeffrey Benton and his mate, Aleksander Piotr Grabowski, supplied the high school students - aged 13 to 14 - with marijuana and spirits alcohol at a Kangaroo Point unit on May 19, 2009.
The court was told the trio, all dressed in uniform, had "wagged" school and hitchhiked to Chinatown, in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley.

Benton pleaded guilty on Friday to nine charges, including having unlawful carnal knowledge with two of the girls, supplying a dangerous drug to a minors and indecent treatment of girls under 16-years.

Senior prosecutor Philip McCarthy said that while standing in a queue at McDonalds, Grabowski struck up a conversation with one of the girls.

He said the girls told Grabowski and his friend they were runaways, and the men offered them a night of "food, pot and alcohol" and free accommodation.

The court was told Grabowski and Benton, who purchased a bottle of liquor, took the girls to their Goodwin St unit and provided them alcohol and "four to five joints" of marijuana.

Mr McCarthy said Benton then had sex with two of the girls, including after waking up next to one girl in his bed the following morning.

He said the girls' gravely concerned parents reported them missing to police, who later found them sleeping in an industrial bin in Fortitude Valley.

Barrister Leon Ackermann, for Benton, said his client was of the "honest" belief the girls were aged 16 or older at the time.

In May, Grabowski, 28, escaped immediate jail when he received a nine-month wholly suspended jail term after pleading guilty to supplying the three girls marijuana and sexually molesting one.

Justice John Byrne was last week told that since being sentenced Grabowski, a Russian-born Canadian electrical engineer, had left Australia and returned to live in Canada.

Justice Byrne jailed Benton for two years, but ordered the term be suspended after serving five months in custody.


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