Martin trial told of sex, photographs

A GIRL prostituted as a 12-year-old has given evidence in the child-sex trial of former Tasmanian MP Terry Martin.

The girl, now 15, told the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday that she had visited a Claremont residence and engaged in sex acts with a man there.

Former Elwick MLC Terence Lewis Martin, 54, of Claremont, has pleaded not guilty to one count of indecent assault, one count of sexual intercourse with a young person under the age of 17 years and one count of producing child exploitation material.

The Crown alleges the three offences were committed on September 13, 2009, and involved the girl.

The girl was prostituted in 2009 by her mother and her mother's friend, Gary John Devine. Devine and the girl's mother are both serving prison sentences.

Yesterday the girl told the jury she had attended the Claremont home for "probably a couple of hours" where she had a spa bath with a man who performed oral sex on her and took photographs of her in a room with a large mirror.

She said she charged about $600 or $700 for the afternoon.

Crown prosecutor Daryl Coates, SC, said the main issue for the jury in Mr Martin's trial was to determine whether Mr Martin reasonably believed that the girl was over the age of 17 when he was having sex with her.

Mr Coates said Mr Martin had responded to an advertisement in the Mercury newspaper's adult services section placed by Devine and promoting "Angela, 18 years old and new in town".

He said Mr Martin went to Devine's Glenorchy unit where the girl was working on September 11, 2009.

He said that a few days later Mr Martin arranged for the girl to attend his Claremont home.

Mr Coates said that unlike Devine's unit, where conditions were dark and dingy, Mr Martin's home was modern with plenty of light.

"When the complainant went to his house he should have suspected the complainant was under the age of 17 but he just couldn't help himself," he said.

He said the girl and Mr Martin went into the bathroom and undressed and performed oral sex on each other.

"He took photographs of her while she was performing oral sex on him, he also took a number of photographs of her naked in various sexual poses," he said.

"It's the Crown's case that just by looking at these photographs you can see that the person in the photographs - the complainant - is likely to be under the age of 17 and he should have suspected that prior to having sexual activity with her."

He said Mr Martin told police when interviewed that he thought the girl was 18 and that he couldn't believe she was just 12.

"He stated he could not think of anything more disgusting than having sex with a 12-year-old," he said.

But Mr Coates said this claim was "completely hollow" because police found hundreds of child porn images - including 133 images of the girl - saved on Mr Martin's computer and in a locked drawer.

The court heard that some of the images were arranged into slideshows and set to music.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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