Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Child Prostitute Looked like an Adult, Former MP Says

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Child Prostitute Looked like an Adult, Former MP Says

Article excerpt

A FORMER Tasmanian MP charged with having sex with a 12-year-old prostitute had reasonable grounds to believe she was an adult, a Hobart court has been told.

Terry Martin, 53, pleaded not guilty last month to having sex with the girl, to taking a photograph of her performing a sex act, and to possessing the photograph.

The girl's mother, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Gary John Devine were both jailed for 10 years for prostituting the girl to more than 100 men, of whom Martin is the only one to face charges.

His lawyers applied for a preliminary proceedings hearing in the Tasmanian Supreme Court in Hob-art, and sought leave to call some of the girl's other clients as witnesses.

Defence lawyer Peter Barker said Martin had reasonable grounds to believe the girl was an adult.

He said the other men who had sex with the girl would testify that the girl looked over the age of 17 and quoted from statutory declarations to that effect.

"The way she dressed and the way she acted led me to believe she was 19," Mr Barker read from one of the statements. …

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