Gympie child sex pest walks free from court
A FORMER radio host, entertainer and child safety advocate has been released from prison after pleading guilty to charges including having protected sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Ryan Michael Sharman, 22, pleaded guilty in Gympie District Court yesterday to four counts of having carnal knowledge of a child under 16 and one count each of grooming a child under 16, unlawful stalking with violence, possessing child exploitation material, making child exploitation material and burglary and stealing.
Sharman also pleaded guilty to 86 summary offences, including 31 breach of bail conditions as domestic violence offences, 31 counts of contravening a domestic violence protection order and 24 additional breaches of bail conditions.
He was released on three years parole after serving 648 days over two stints of pre-sentence custody beginning in April 2017.
The court heard Sharman, aged 20 when he met the 13-year-old girl online, was aware of her age when the two began exchanging messages online, reportedly through Facebook.
Judge Glen Cash said Sharman met the girl personally after about a month of online conversations and began exchanging nude photos with her at that point and afterwards.
Sharman then engaged in sexual activity which included protected sexual intercourse with the girl on four separate occasions when she was aged 13 and 14, the court heard.
Sharman's behaviour in the relationship then caused the victim to end it, before he responded by "bombarding her with messages", "driving past her place as many as 10 times a day" and "watching her around town on her way to school".
Judge Cash said "two particularly concerning acts in the course of the stalking" included an occasion on which Sharman approached the victim at a soccer match and "demanded to know why she was there without (his) permission" and a later occasion on which he went to her house and tried to physically force his way in, leading the victim to chase him away with a kitchen knife.
The court heard police investigations into Sharman's conduct led to the discovery of 93 still images and 21 video files depicting young females "in states of undressing and sexual poses" on his personal computer.
Judge Cash said "probably only two different people" were in the photographs, one of them being the complainant.
While police investigations continued Sharman broke into the victim's home to steal her iPad, which Judge Cash described "seemed to be an act motivated by vengeance."
The victim had obtained a protection order against Sharman by April 2017, around the time he was arrested and remanded in custody before being released on Supreme Court bail in August of that year on the condition he had no contact with the victim.
Judge Cash said "within weeks you had completely disregarded that condition" by using Instagram and "other messaging services" to repeatedly contact the victim.
Judge Cash described Sharman's actions, which saw his bail revoked and his return to prison until yesterday's sentencing, as "demonstrably immature".
In sentencing him to three years imprisonment for the carnal knowledge charges to be served cumulatively with two years for unlawful stalking, Judge Cash noted Sharman's 648 total days spent in pre-sentence custody.
He was required to comply with all probation conditions over the next three years and undertake a sexual offence treatment program.
He received 12 months' imprisonment for each of the summary offences, suspended for five years.
The crown prosecutor's submission to extend the victim's protection order against Sharman for five years until February 13, 2024 was accepted.