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A young man who had sneaked into the bedroom of a 7-year-old girl to sexually violate her has been jailed for nearly two years.
There was no chance of home detention for 19-year-old Dylan James Olsen, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday, because his parents had effectively abandoned him.
Counsel Anne Stevens QC said both her client's parents had walked away from him and he had essentially been orphaned.
Neither had put up a bail address for Olsen when charges were laid, she said, and the same was the case when it came to the possibility of a non-custodial sentence.
As much as she wanted to argue for home detention, there was nowhere for him to go, she said.
The defendant had been living with his father in 2015 when he spent the night away from home.
While at this other property, Olsen waited until night to creep into the victim's room where he committed two acts of violation.
He asked the girl whether she liked what he was doing.
''She said no, but you persisted,'' Judge Michael Turner said.
Before Olsen left the room he told the child not to mention what had happened.
However, three years later she made the disclosures.
Crown prosecutor Craig Power said the acts were clearly committed for the defendant's own sexual gratification and ''could be considered somewhat brazen'' since there were others in the house at the time.
The girl experienced physical pain for days after the violations and had seen a psychotherapist about the trauma.
That professional told the court the victim's ''ongoing emotional and cognitive development was significantly interrupted''.
The episode occurred at a stage when the girl should have been mastering tasks and building self-worth.
Her ordeal had been a huge setback, Judge Turner said.
Olsen's upbringing had been unstable and while it could never excuse the offending, the judge said, it provided a context.
When his parents split, he had gone to live with his father who developed an alcohol problem and ''abdicated his parental responsibilities''.
After the man gave evidence at trial, he simply left court, Judge Turner noted.
''He gave a brief nod as he walked past [Olsen].''
The experiences for Olsen had manifested in: substance abuse, violent sexual behaviour and occasional suicidal ideations, the court heard.
Mrs Stevens stressed the defendant was 15 at the time of offending and expressed hope he would receive the therapy he needed to overcome his underlying issues.
Olsen was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment and had been in custody since October.