A Ballarat man has been sentenced to a maximum of nine years’ jail for repeatedly stabbing a five-year-old girl as he tried to remove her clothes.
Ty Ranger, 25, was living in the same apartment complex as the young girl when he spotted her playing outside her home and coaxed her into his unit in November, 2015.
The County Court heard he sat on her before stabbing her 25 times with a pocketknife as he removed her T-shirt and shoes and tried to take her shorts off.
Ranger touched her chest and groin before she was able to break free by biting his face.
Her mother found her “distressed and covered in blood”, the court heard.
Ranger, who has cerebral palsy but no intellectual disability, pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury. He also pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography after images were found on his phone.
Judge Roy Punshon found there was compelling evidence to suggest there was a sexual nature to the attack.
But Ranger has never offered a motive and denies he attacked the young girl, despite his guilty plea.
He claims she came into his unit and picked up the knife before he tried to take it off her, injuring her in the process.
‘I hope he suffers in jail’
Ranger’s victim has made a full physical recovery but Judge Punshon said the long-term psychological impact on her is unknown.
He found that without a “satisfactory explanation for the attack”, it was very difficult to assess Ranger’s prospects of rehabilitation as it would be impossible to know whether he has received appropriate treatment.
But Judge Punshon acknowledged Ranger would be vulnerable in custody and his physical and mental health is at risk of deteriorating.
One of Ranger’s former friends, Jamie Leontic, was in court for the sentencing.
Outside, Mr Leontic said he was shocked and heartbroken by what Ranger had done.
“I didn’t think Ty would do something like that, that’s something I didn’t think he’d be capable of doing,” he said.
“I hope he suffers in jail for what he’s done and comes out better than what he was.”
Ranger has been ordered to serve a minimum six years and three months in prison.
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