8 May 2023

Man admits sexually abusing four girls he approached over social media

| Albert McKnight
ACT Law Courts Photo: Michelle Kroll Region Media

Samuel John Doughty, 26, has admitted sexually assaulting underaged girls. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to child abuse.

A man has admitted sexually abusing four girls aged between 13 and 15 after allegedly approaching them over social media.

Samuel John Doughty appeared over the phone in the ACT Magistrates Court, where he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old as well as raping two 14-year-olds and one 15-year-old.

The assaults occurred on four different occasions between October 2017 and October 2021. He was aged 20 at the time of the first assault and 24 during the last one.

According to court documents, it was alleged that he met each of the girls in person after initially messaging them on the social media applications Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat.

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It is alleged in the documents that at least three of the girls didn’t know who he was before he sent them messages or requests to follow their accounts.

Doughty, who is now aged 25, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 16 over the assaults on the older girls, as well as to a single count of committing an act of indecency on a person between 10 and 16 in relation to the youngest girl.

However, the Calwell man maintains a not guilty plea to a further count of sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 16 which allegedly applies to a different girl.

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Other charges have been withdrawn.

Magistrate James Lawton committed him to the Supreme Court for trial on the charge he is fighting, as well as for sentencing on the charges he pleaded guilty to.

Doughty, who was arrested in July 2022, was remanded in custody and his cases will first appear in the higher court on 18 May.

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