Sentenced for indecent act

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A Brazilian plasterer’s been sentenced to six months’ home detention after admitting
a representative charge of doing an indecent act on a child last year.

In Queenstown’s court on Monday, Emerson Silva, 33, came face-to-face with the victim’s father who told the defendant he forgave him, but was ‘‘not worthy’’ of his trust.

Judge Russell Walker said the charge Silva admitted captured three separate incidents, all of which took place in the child’s family home, between March 1 and July 31.

In the first, the child, aged 12 at the time, was sitting at a table with Silva.

The child’s feet were in his lap and as the child started moving their feet, Silva moved
his crotch to make contact.

During the second incident, Silva grabbed the victim’s buttocks as they were putting dishes away.

The final incident happened when the pair was sitting at the table and Silva moved his shorts and underwear to the side, exposing his penis, and grabbed the child’s foot to rub against himself.

When the child’s father walked in, he pushed the foot away and righted his clothing.

Speaking to the defendant through a translator on Monday, the father said deciding to make a complaint to police was ‘‘extremely difficult’’, because Silva was ‘‘part of our family’’.

‘‘I don’t know what the outcome of this case will be and I’m thankful that this case is not in my hands to decide.

‘‘What is in my hands is to have a heart free of hate and to offer Emerson forgiveness, as I also have been forgiven.

‘‘However, I cannot offer you trust … you are not worthy,’’ the victim’s father said.

Silva’s lawyer, Megan Waller, said the defendant was ‘‘deeply remorseful’’, but had limited
financial means and no ability to make an emotional harm payment.

Both prosecuting sergeant Ian Collin and Judge Walker said it was disappointing Silva hadn’t set aside any money for emotional harm, particularly given the case had been before the courts since October.

While Walker opted not to place Silva on the Child Sex Offender Register, he prohibited him having any contact with children under the age of 16 as part of his sentence, and also ordered him to complete a ‘Stop’ programme.