By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A middle-aged docker who supplied meth to a 15-year-old girl and filmed their sex acts has been jailed.
Jason Francis Sims, 48, pleaded guilty at the County Court of Victoria to five charges including sexually penetrating a child under 16, supplying drugs to a child and producing child abuse material.
The single father met the girl on an adult dating app Skout in May 2020.
She messaged her true age and that she was living in Department of Health and Human Services residential care.
Sims’ initial reaction revealed he knew she was 15, sentencing judge Justin Hennebery noted on 11 May.
“Sorry age might be a number to you but I’m not a paedophile and have a son that age. Keep the f*** away from older guys and hard drugs for f***’s sake,” Sims messaged.
But despite this rebuff, Sims “pursued” her soon afterwards.
He arranged to meet in a Dandenong motel where he smoked ice with the victim and filmed sexual activity.
Days later, Sims arranged an Uber to pick up the girl up from her residential unit and take her to his Bentleigh home.
He again supplied ‘ice’, showing her how to ‘hot rail’ by pre-heating the glass pipe for a “better” hit.
Their sexual encounters and drug-taking over several days were graphically filmed on his and her phones.
A worker at a residential care unit discovered the videos on the girl’s phone.
The worker filmed the videos on their own phone, uploaded them to an office computer and then a USB which was handed to police.
After receiving a notice banning any contact with the girl, Sims warned her to dump her phone and get a ‘burner’ phone.
Police raided his home, seizing meth and GHB that Sims initially said were brought there by the girl.
In a police interview, he initially denied knowing the victim was under 16. He said he couldn’t remember the motel encounter and other incriminating evidence.
Sims blamed his faulty memory on drug use, which he said began a year earlier. He conceded he made a “horrible mistake”.
Judge Hannebery accepted Sims didn’t intend to pick up a child when he went on Skout. But Sims soon became aware his date was “underage”.
His pursuit of her for sex was aggravated by providing her meth – a “dangerous and addictive substance”.
The victim, who didn’t offer a police statement or victim impact statement, was additionally vulnerable being in government “resi“ care.
Exploited child victims suffered “enormous” physical and psychological harm long-term and must be protected by the courts, Judge Hannebery said.
Sexually penetrating a child under 16 and sexual activity in the presence of a child under 16 carried ‘standard sentences’ of six years and four years jail respectively.
In mitigation, the judge noted Sims’ substantial rehab efforts after the event, lack of priors, good work history and family support.
Sims was jailed for up to five-and-a-half years, with a three-year non-parole period.
He must report as a registered sexual offender for life.