A 17-year-old male who was born in Afghanistan and moved to Australia was vacationing with his family in January 2016 on a popular Queensland beach and proceeded to grope eight females, ABC News Australia reported.
The unnamed teen groped the females — ages 15 to 24 — over the course of two hours at Surfer’s Paradise Beach before a lifeguard was finally alerted and police were called, the outlet said.
He allegedly grabbed his victims on their buttocks, breasts and — in three instances — their vaginas, ABC News reported, adding that prosecutor Nick McGhee said the defendant swam up to his victims “in quite a predatory manner.”
The outlet added that the teen allegedly told the lifeguard, “If I just say sorry, can we forget all about it?”
He pleaded guilty to nine charges of sexual assault and three charges of common assault, ABC News reported. But at the teen’s sentencing last week, Judge David Kent placed him on two years’ probation, the outlet said, adding that no conviction was recorded.
The judge’s reason?
Seeing girls in bikinis wasn’t part of the environment where he grew up, News 7 reported.
Two of the victims who were 15 years old at the time of the incident were present in court, ABC News said.
Kent said during sentencing that the defendant grew up in difficult circumstances in Afghanistan and that his father died in 2011, ABC News said.
But the judge did note the teen’s actions were unacceptable, ABC News reported.
“You indulged in behavior which was essentially groping,” Kent said. “Essentially touching private parts.”