Convicted sex offender rapes 13-year-old after ‘robbery’ trick

A registered sex offender preyed on a young teenager who was evading police, offering her an escape and then abusing her as she lay next to her school friend and was “too scared to move.”

Joel Douglas Jorgensen, who was registered as a child sex offender after attempting to procure sex from teenagers via Snapchat and sending them photos of his penis, was in Mackay at about 10.30pm on Tuesday, September 5 last year.

Mackay District Court heard that the then 34-year-old approached a 13-year-old girl and her school friend who were sitting in a paddock.

Prosecutor Lydia Devereaux said the children told Jorgensen they were trying to avoid police, and he said officers were at the nearby rest stop.

He offered to “protect” them and they got into his car.

Ms Devereaux said Jorgensen drove to his mother’s house to pick up some belongings before heading to Seaforth, where they camped for the night.

The court heard that Jorgensen digitally raped the 13-year-old as she lay next to her friend and was “too scared to move.”

Ms Devereaux said Jorgensen drove the teenagers to a shopping centre in Mackay the next morning, after which his victim immediately told her friends and mother about the rape.

She said police found and arrested Jorgensen nine days later and he has been in jail ever since.

Ms Devereaux said it was “very concerning” that Jorgensen’s criminal behaviour had escalated since he was registered as a child sex offender.

“This shows that he was not deterred by previous convictions,” she said as she requested a prison sentence of three years and nine months.

Scott McLennan, defence counsel for McKays Solicitors, agreed with the prosecution’s arguments.

Mr McLennan said Jorgensen was aware that drug use was a “significant risk factor” for his sexual offending as a child and that he would need to “maintain his abstinence” after his release from prison.

In addition to the rape, the court said Jorgensen was also charged with four counts of failure to report, two of which related to his contact with the teenagers and the other counts related to his failure to inform police about vehicles.

Judge Terry Gardiner said Jorgensen had a “significant” criminal history, including trafficking, manufacturing and distribution of dangerous drugs, breaching parole, assault, burglary and attempting to coerce sexual acts on a minor.

He said the victim’s statement showed that the rape had caused “significant” harm to the victim and her family and that she had to leave Mackay and her parents had to separate.

“Their conduct was clearly predatory and the plaintiff was vulnerable,” Judge Gardiner told Jorgensen as he appeared via video link from Capricornia Correctional Centre.

He sentenced Jorgensen to three years and nine months in prison with a parole date of December 14, 2024, stating that he had already served just over eight months of the sentence.

Convictions were recorded.