He says he didn't know she was a minor
A MAN previously convicted of having sex with an under-age girl will remain behind bars after a he failed to win his bid for freedom.
Magistrate Mark Nolan said he was too great a risk and rejected bail.
The man is facing a total of 10 charges, including the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl and two failures to report contact with minors.
Police prosecutor Chelsea Pearson told Mackay Magistrates Court the semen found in the girl's underwear was 100 billion times more likely to belong to the accused. Ms Pearson presented the 25-year-old's criminal history as evidence to refuse bail, including a previous conviction for having sex with a 14-year-old.
The accused's lawyer Rosemary Varley told the court her client intended to fight the rape charge because he believed it was consensual.
"At the time, the complainant was living at a residence on her own and she was not living with her father or mother," she said.
"He was under the honest belief the complainant was of age."
Ms Varley added her client did not report the interaction with a minor because he did not know she was one.
She argued that he had been in custody since December last year and his father had organised work for him if he was released on bail.
"He is genuine in wanting to turn his life around. He was candid with me about difficulties previously when he has been released from detention, it is conceded that he does come before the court with a lengthy history," Ms Varley said.
The accused's father, who lived just outside Toowoomba, was willing to put up $1000 and ensure the 25-year-old would have transport to court dates in Mackay if he were to be released to his address.
But Mr Nolan said with 12 prior convictions for failure to comply with reporting, he did not believe it was safe to release the alleged rapist.
He will appear via video link on July 24 for a committal-mention.