A South Australian judge has said children need to be protected from “sexual predators in the workplace”, before jailing a cafe manager who groomed and assaulted a 16-year-old waitress.
District Court Judge Liesl Chapman today sentenced 25-year-old Miguel De Sa to two-and-a-half years’ jail with a non-parole period of 13 months.
She found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault and one count of grooming, following a trial in the absence of a jury.
“I have no difficulty in accepting her evidence and rejecting yours,” she said.
De Sa offered the girl $200 to have sex with him, and told her she would “be his best girl” and be given more shifts before touching her inappropriately in the storeroom in November 2016.
“She felt degraded that you wanted to buy her for sex — it made her feel like she had low self-worth and was not respected,” Judge Chapman said during sentencing.
“Children need to be protected from sexual predators in the workplace.
“A strong message needs to be sent to the community that behaviour like this will be met with a strong penalty.
“Your offences were serious — you sexually exploited the imbalance of power between yourself and your employee who was only 16.”
Judge Chapman said De Sa has shown no remorse or insight into his offending.
She said she took into account the fact that De Sa could be deported back to Portugal once released from jail.
“I understand that the residency of your parents is also dependent upon you and your sister obtaining a permanent residency visa,” she said.
“Their stay in Australia is also, therefore, at risk.”
The court was previously told if De Sa was given a jail sentence longer than 12 months, he faces possible deportation from Australia.
De Sa has launched an appeal against the guilty verdicts.