Glenorchy man jailed for prostituting 12-year-old girl


IS 10 YEARS IN JAIL ADEQUATE PUNISHMENT FOR THIS CRIME?

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A GLENORCHY man who prostituted a 12-year-old girl to more than 100 men in Hobart has received a 10-year prison sentence, with a non-parole period of eight years.

Gary John Devine, 51, pleaded guilty to procuring unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person, permitting unlawful sexual intercourse with a young person on premises, being a commercial operator of a sexual services business and receiving a fee derived from sexual services provided by a child in a sexual services business.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday, Justice Peter Evans said that on August 20 last year, Devine, the girl, and the girl's mother decided the girl would become a prostitute to make money for her mother.

The next day Devine placed the first of six advertisements in The Mercury newspaper, which described the girl as "18 years old and new in town".

The court heard that the girl's mother booked a room at the Hobart Midcity Hotel for two nights and gave Devine two packets of condoms, which were passed on to the girl.

Clients were charged $100 per half hour and an extra $50 if they did not wear a condom.

From seeing clients at the hotel, the girl estimated she earned $2000 - $100 of which she gave to Devine, $400 to her mother, while the remainder was spent on drugs for her mother.

The girl then worked from Devine's Chapel Street, Glenorchy, residence with Devine and the girl's 15-year-old sister managing the appointment diary.

"Over this four-week period the complainant saw in excess of 100 clients with whom she had sexual intercourse," Justice Evans said.

"The defendant was always at the residence. On one occasion the defendant took the complainant to the residence of a client where she had sexual intercourse with that client."

Each day that she worked the girl gave Devine at least $200 and her mother $400, with the balance spent on drugs for the three of them.

"The prosecution estimated Devine received thousands of dollars from the girl's services."

Justice Evans said that the girl had been treated for sexually transmitted diseases, had been spurned by former friends and no longer attended school.

In her victim impact statement, she said that she would have to live with what had been done to her for the rest of her life.

Devine has been in custody since his arrest on November 4 and since then his telephone calls have been recorded and monitored.

"During a number of his telephone conversations with the complainant's older sister, he made threats of violence towards the complainant," Justice Evans said.

He said that Devine had an "extensive record of prior convictions" and had been imprisoned on "many occasions" since 1976.

"Some of his convictions suggest he is contemptuous of women," Justice Evans said, referring to an assault on a pregnant woman and a separate assault on a female partner.

He said that while in this case Devine's criminal conduct was confined to one 12-year- old, he had directly arranged her repeated abuse.

"What he did was in no sense as distant from the actual abuse of a child as the conduct of those who access and view child pornographic material," he said.

"The stark and straightforward reality is that the defendant caused a child of 12 years of age to be subjected to sexual intercourse with in excess of 100 men."

Devine was arrested after the Child Protection Authority contacted police in October last year.

The girl's mother is in custody and will face court at a later date.

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