47yo Gympie man found not guilty of sexually assaulting teen
A 47-year-old Gympie man has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl two years ago and has walked free after ”critical issues” appeared in the case against him.
Stephen James Glassop had been charged with two counts of sexual assault over allegations he touched a 17-year-old girl on the breast and between her legs in the middle of the night of September 15, 2018 while she was staying with family friends while her parents were house-sitting.
Mr Glassop had been visiting and drinking with the male owner of the property that night.
According to Judge Gary Long’s decision the Gympie District Court heard the then-17-year-old girl woke up after feeling “like someone was touching me on my chest”.
She saw the “shadow of a chubby person”, and they were making groaning and grunting sounds while touching her between the legs.
“I knew it was Steve because he was the only chubby male person in the house,” she told Gympie District Court, saying she did not cry out for help because she was in shock.
He left when she moved to “pretend I was waking up”; she then started crying and, just before 1am, texted her boyfriend just before 1am saying she woke “to him feeling me up in bed”.
They spoke on the phone 20 minutes later.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
Mr Glassop was still drinking with a man who lived at the property when the homeowner’s wife came home at 1.20am.
The girl told the woman what happened shortly after.
In the decision on the judge-only trial, Judge Long said there was no evidence to support claims the girl lied to get her boyfriend to pay more attention to her.
“Her allegations are not simply concocted for the reason contended, or any other, and more likely representative of something that had occurred in her room and which led to her raising (the) complaint,” Mr Long said.
However there were “critical issues” raised by the girl’s evidence regardless of who her assailant was.
One was a “lack of clarity” around the allegation Mr Glassop touched her breast.
When the girl later recounted the incident with her family and boyfriend present, the court heard she told them she “woke up because she felt pressure on her leg”.
Mr Long said another issue with the credibility of the girl arose over the clothes she was wearing that night.
The female owner of the property said the girl told police she washed her clothes after the incident, but later said to her this was a lie.
“She felt weird because her boyfriend’s fingerprints were on her clothes. I think she thought they wanted them to fingerprint him,” she said.
However under cross-examination the girl denied telling the woman she had lied.
Mr Long said this contradiction was a problem as “there appeared to be no reason to doubt the credibility of (the female property owner’s) evidence”.
These gave rise to reasonable doubt on each allegation and Mr Glassop was found not guilty on both charges.