Ex-pub manager jailed for nine months after sexually abusing homeless teen

A former pub manager who had sex with a 14-year-old girl he came across living on the streets of Wodonga has been jailed for nine months.

County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said Shane Kaufmann, a former manager of the Edward’s Tavern in the city, had to be jailed after taking advantage of the vulnerable teenager under the guise of offering her shelter.

Judge Gucciardo said the victim and her girlfriend, aged 18, had been living an itinerant lifestyle when Kaufmann came across them sleeping in a bank ATM machine foyer in May 2013.

Kaufmann woke the two girls up, offered them food and told them they could stay at his home.

Kaufmann, who had a long criminal history, took the girls back to where they had occasionally stayed to collect their belongings and, while waiting for them, he stole a gas bottle.

Judge Gucciardo said Kaufmann gave alcohol to the girls, who also smoked cannabis and took valium and ice.

The judge said the 14-year-old girl later found herself naked in Kaufmann’s bedroom where he sexually assaulted her. The girl had earlier told him her age.

The next day Kaufmann put on a pornographic movie in his bedroom as he lay between the two girls.

Kaufmann began to assault the 14-year-old before her friend got up and walked out of the bedroom.

When Kaufmann left the house to go to a dentist’s appointment, the girls went to the police.

Kaufmann was arrested and pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and one count of theft.

He initially told police he had had sex with the 18-year-old girl but not with the 14-year-old.

Judge Gucciardo said Kaufmann had taken advantage of the 14-year-old and abused her for his own sexual gratification, and the courts had to denounce such behaviour.

Kaufmann was jailed for nine months and, on his release, must complete a two-year community correction order and 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Kaufmann was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 15 years.

The Border Mail