Man allegedly begged teen to keep hotel sex secret
A MERRIMAC man picked up a 14-year-old girl in Southport, took her to a hotel to have sex and then begged her not to tell anyone, a court was told.
Karl Gallet pleaded not guilty in the Southport District Court to nine counts of carnal knowledge of a child under 16.
It is alleged Gallet had sex with the girl nine times, knew she was underage and asked her to shower thoroughly and change her underwear.
In a police interview played to the court, the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said Gallet begged her not to say anything.
She said he told her: "Please don't tell anyone, I haven't done anything wrong by you. I haven't raped you."
The jury of seven men and five women was told Gallet approached the girl while crossing the street at Australia Fair on September 23, 2017. He allegedly gave her his phone number and cash for a pay phone.
The girl said she told Gallet she was 14, the court was told. Gallet responded that he was 35, the girl said. The girl told police Gallet later told her he was actually 41.
The court was told Gallet later picked her up when driving past in Southport.
"We were driving around Broadbeach and Burleigh and looking for rooms and we couldn't find any," she said. "We just went on Booking.com and we found a room at the Mercure."
They stayed there for two nights, the jury was told.
The girl said after they were finished at Mercure, Gallet dropped her in Southport. "Then I got on the tram and went to Broadbeach and I called him and I lied and told him that my mum kicked me out," she told police.
The girl told officers Gallet picked her up and snuck her into his place at Merrimac where he lived with his parents.
She said they had sex there.
In the recorded interview with police she said Gallet told her to make sure she showered "thoroughly" and gave her a clean pair of underwear to wear.
The girl said the pair spent the next day together, including him taking her to an appointment with probation officers.
The girl's mother had reported her as missing, the jury was told. "I was still in the car when he lied and said that he dropped me near Pacific Fair," she said.
She said Gallet dropped her off in Broadbeach after she promised to go to police.
The girl said she instead went into Surfers Paradise where officers spotted her on CCTV and picked her up.
Crown prosecutor Jessica Guy said the real issue at trial is whether the events happened as described.
"It is also likely the defendant will raise a defence that he believed the complainant was of or above 16 years of age," she said.
The trial continues.