A 26-year-old man will spend no time in jail and will not be required to register as a sex offender for having sex with an underage girl.
On Thursday the man, who will not be named to protect the identity of his victim, pleaded guilty in the Burnie Supreme Court to penetrative sexual abuse of a young person.
Crown prosecutor Luke Brett told the crime occurred in September 2018, when the man was 24-years-old and married and his victim was aged 16-years-old and in year 10 at high school, which he knew.
The court heard the pair worked at a supermarket together in 2018 and began messaging each other on social media.
After a closing shift at a pub one night, the man was invited by the teenager to her house, and he arrived about 12.30am.
They listened to music, watched a movie and had consensual sex.
Mr Brett said the pair agreed to keep it a secret due to her age and they did not have sex again.
Defence lawyer Joseph Petersen told the court the man’s relationship with his wife was breaking down at the time, and said the actions of his client were not predatory.
“This matter has none of the aggravations this court commonly sees with matters like these,” Mr Petersen said.
“The event on this morning was a singular occurrence. It was not threatening, abusive or violent.
“It was brief, and with a general lack of premeditation.”
The man admitted his crime to his general practitioner, and his wife found the messages between himself and the teenager on his phone, after which he handed himself in to Tasmania Police.
In sentencing, Justice Pearce noted the man was recently convicted for a crime committed on the day his wife found the messages.
“I infer that this arose from conflict within your marriage, probably at least in part as a result of this crime,” he said.
“I am satisfied that the relationship between you and the complainant arose from mutual affection.
“Had the sexual intercourse occurred six months or so later, it would not have been unlawful.
“Your conduct would probably not have come to light without your own disclosures and admissions.”
The man was sentenced to five months prison wholly suspended for 18 months.