Former Ainslie Football Club coach Stephen Porter abused Canberra boy more than twice as many times as he claimed, the court finds

A former football coach who committed sexual offenses against three boys “deceived himself” to “minimize his actions,” an ACT Supreme Court judge said.

Stephen James Porter, 51, has pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse but has not yet been formally convicted.

Last year, he unusually asked the ACT’s Supreme Court to send him to jail, ahead of his inevitable prison sentence.

Porter’s sentencing has been delayed because, although he admitted the charges, he challenged some of the facts of the case concerning the third victim.

Specifically, Porter said the offenses against the boy happened between 14 and 15 times.

Although the victim said there had been between 35 and 45 incidents.

Today, Supreme Court Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson delivered her conclusion and accepted the victim’s report.

During the hearing, the court was told that the first incident had happened after a private training session when the boy was around 12.

The court also heard that Porter had been friends with the boy’s family, often had dinner with them and sometimes stayed on a cot in the boy’s room.

‘Severe reservations about the perpetrator’s evidence’

A man walks with his head bowed.
Supreme Court Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson said Porter’s disagreement about how many times the violation took place was an attempt to “minimize his own actions.”(Delivered: Canberra Times)

A key issue in the case concerned the boy’s allegation of numerous assaults in the family home.

Porter told the court the door was open and the house was small, so if anything had happened, others would probably have heard it.

He also said he had only lived in the boy’s home about 15 times over three consecutive summers.

But Judge Loukas-Karlsson found that it differed from evidence from others.

The boy’s mother also said they asked for the door to be open, but sometimes it was closed.

“In my opinion, the perpetrator’s evidence of the number of times he stayed in the complainant’s house is an attempt to minimize the number of opportunities he had to engage in sexual activity,” Judge Loukas-Karlsson said.

Judge Loukas-Karlsson also noted discrepancies between Porter’s report to police and the evidence he provided in court.

“I have serious reservations about the perpetrator’s evidence,” Judge Loukas-Karlsson said.

No date has been set for the sentencing.

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