A 22-year-old Orange man has been charged with sex offences against a 14-year-old girl.
The man, who cannot be named to protect the victim, is alleged by police to have committed the offences in April 2012 in a town away from Orange.
The name of the man and the town in which the offences allegedly occurred cannot be released due to a non-publication order imposed by the court to protect the victim from identification.
The accused is alleged to have had consensual sexual intercourse with the girl at an age when under the law the girl was not old enough to give that permission.
“It comes under the terminology of statutory rape,” police prosecutor Sergeant Andy Bobin said in Orange Local Court on Thursday.
The man has also been charged with aggravated sexual assault, which means he forced himself on the girl.
He is also facing a charge of using a mobile phone to pass on indecent images to a person under the age of 16 years.
That phone has been seized by police and will be used to form part of the prosecution case.
The court was cleared in Orange on Thursday with only the man’s mother allowed to stay, while his aunt and cousin who were supporting the mother of the accused asked to leave.
The man, who sat casually dressed in the dock, is employed full time in Orange in a senior role in his workplace.
Sergeant Bobin asked for bail to be refused due to the gravity of the charges.
“He forced himself on the victim,” Sergeant Bobin said.
“And these charges do carry a maximum penalty of 20 years,” he said.
The man’s solicitor Arjun Chhabra told the court his client had no criminal history and was prepared to put up $500 of his own money as surety if he was released on bail.
“His mother is also prepared to lodge $1000 to be forfeited if there is a breach of bail,” Mr Chhabra said.
Sergeant Bobin argued for a curfew to be imposed on the accused.
However Mr Chhabra said that would severely impact on his client’s ability to continue in his job with a changing roster.
The accused was granted bail on the condition he and his mother lodge security of $500 and $1000 respectively, and the accused report to Orange police several times a week. He was also ordered not to attempt to make any contact with the alleged victim.