Teen groper gets one last chance from courts
A GLENWOOD man who sexually groped a 14-year-old girl when he was 19 has been handed one last chance to put his life on track.
Crown prosecutor Jane Shaw told Gympie District Court that Matthew James Rieck-Schloss, now 22, met the victim through friends.
She said the incident occurred one night when he "picked her and her friend up when they were stranded".
The court was told the victim later fell asleep while lying on a bed with Rieck-Schloss and her friend, and woke to find him stroking her leg.
He then proceeded to grab her breasts and bottom and tried to put hands down her pants.
The victim fled the room crying and complained about the incident to her friends.
MORE GYMPIE NEWS
She was afraid her father would find out, but eventually confessed to her mother and police after she suffered an anxiety attack at school in 2018.
Rieck-Schloss's lawyer, Phil Hardcastle, said his client was diagnosed with autism when he was 12, and had been in foster care for many years.
"(At the time of the offence) he was hanging around people aged 15, 16 and 17," Mr Hardcastle said.
"He's 22 now, and he's not a sophisticated 22."
Judge Glen Cash noted Rieck-Schloss had no criminal history at the time of the offence but had since been convicted of serious assault and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, which led to a jail sentence with immediate parole.
Mr Cash noted the jail sentence had had an impact.
"You seem to have been in the process of turning your life around," he said.
"You are well regarded by your employer."
Mr Cash said the less pronounced age difference, the fact it was an isolated incident and that Rieck-Schloss was not grooming the victim were enough mitigation to keep the 22-year-old from spending time in custody.
"While the conduct was appalling, it was not as invasive as other matters that come before the court,"
Judge Cash accepted Rieck-Schloss' guilty plea to one count of indecent treatment of a child under 16, sentenced him to two years' probation and extended "one last chance" by not recording a conviction.