Tinder teen avoids jail for underage sex

A TINDER hook-up that led to two Coast teens losing their virginity has also landed a man in court for carnal knowledge.

The 18-year-old, who has not been named to protect the identity of the victim, was 17 and still at high school when he met the 15-year-old girl on the dating app Tinder last year.

That girl and her parents watched from the public gallery of Maroochydore District Court on Monday as the man was sentenced for having sex with her on multiple occasions during their week-long relationship.

The court heard the relationship ended after the girl's father found out about it.

Crown prosecutor Greg Cummings said the man had initiated the sexual encounters, but defence solicitor Chelsea Emery said some had been initiated by the girl.

Mr Cummings noted the age difference was not large, but the girl needed to be protected because of her young age.

Ms Emery conceded that her client knew the girl was under age and should not have continued with the relationship.

She said the man cooperated with police and was particularly remorseful.

Ms Emery said he had lost a working with children blue card as a result of the charges and hoped to start his own business as a personal trainer.

Judge Leanne Clare said Tinder was colloquially known as a "hook-up site".

She said the victim had friends who were sexually active and had wanted to fit in with them.

She also noted the man and the girl were virgins before the relationship.

Judge Clare said the man had not coerced or forced the girl into sex.

The girl did not provide a victim impact statement but her mother did, saying her daughter was too young to cope with a sexual relationship.

Judge Clare was satisfied that the circumstances of the case were exceptional, which spared the man from a prison sentence.

The man was placed on a two-year probation order.

No convictions were recorded.

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