Shepparton resident Jan Ali Muqadas has hidden from his family the fact he has been arrested and charged with having sex with an underage girl.By Fiona Broom
A Shepparton man who pleaded guilty to having sex with an underage girl who was part of a prostitution ring doesn’t want his family to know, a court has heard.
Jan Ali Muqadas, 26, yesterday pleaded guilty in Shepparton County Court to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16.
In March last year Muqadas contacted Emran Dad, 22, who was running a ‘‘prostitution racket’’ in the Shepparton area, and asked him if he could find him a girl to have sex with, Crown prosecutor David Cordy told the court. Mr Dad booked a room for Muqadas and the then-15-year-old girl at a Shepparton hotel, where they had sex before Mr Dad drove them both home.
Muqadas made no attempt to find out the girl’s age, Mr Cordy said.
Muqadas made contact with the victim directly in April and they had sex in a room at the same hotel.
In May, police found Muqadas and the girl in a car off Riverview Dve, Kialla and he was arrested.
The court heard the girl provided a victim impact statement, and while she had been prepared to give evidence, she was reluctant to do so because she was embarrassed.
Mr Cordy told Judge David Parsons he had spoken with the girl on Monday and she told him she was ‘‘over it’’ and wanted to move on with her life.
While Mr Parsons said he was glad to hear she had positive aspirations, Mr Cordy said she had no support from her family.
Mr Parsons said that could explain why the girl ‘‘prostituted herself at such a tender age’’ and he was fearful of what would lead a person to such circumstances.
The judge said it was appropriate for Muqadas, a Hazara Afghan, to be assessed for a community corrections order, but there had been difficulty doing so because he had chosen not to tell his family about the charges.
He adjourned the matter to February 21 to allow time for a report to be prepared that could mitigate damage to Muqadas.
Emran Dad pleaded guilty in November to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16, committing an indecent act with a child under 16, and causing or encouraging a child to participate in sex work.
He was sentenced to three years’ jail with a minimum of 10 months.
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