National

Victorian girl details sex assault trauma

By AAP Newswire

A sex assault victim has told a court through tears that losing her virginity at just 13 to an 18-year-old man stripped her of dignity and "changed my life forever".

Nathan Schembri, now 22, has pleaded guilty in the County Court to three counts of sexually penetrating the girl after they met at a party in regional Victoria in 2015.

Prosecutor Andrew Sprague said the girl told Schembri she was 15 before revealing she was actually 13 after they got physical.

"Is it bad you know I'm 13?" the victim asked him.

"No, who cares, it's already been done," he replied, before they had another sexual encounter that night.

The next morning, Schembri told her: "Don't tell anyone what happened because it's illegal".

The victim told the court what happened that night left her tormented, anxious and bullied by others.

"That night changed my life," she said, tearfully.

"At 13 I was dropped off like a piece of meat in the morning.

"I felt like I had already failed in my life.

"I felt so ashamed, like it was my fault.

"I had my childhood taken away from me and my dignity stripped."

The defence wants Schembri assessed for a community corrections order, with lawyer David Swan describing it as "opportunistic" rather than predatory offending.

He said his client felt deep shame and embarrassment for what happened and had accepted the impact and gravity of his crimes.

But the prosecution has called for jail.

"It still involves the sexual exploitation of someone who is vulnerable due to their young age," Mr Sprague said.

"It's clear the offending caused significant stress to the victim."

Schembri also pleaded guilty to six unrelated drug trafficking charges.

Judge Felicity Hampel remanded him in custody ahead of sentencing next Tuesday.