Referee ‘preyed’ on young boys
A SPORTS referee was "predatory" and "devious" when he used his position to lure four teenage boys into sexual situations, inappropriately touching two, a court has been told.
Hayden Peter Voigt, 23, promised the boys, from the Gold Coast and Brisbane, he would help with their refereeing or sports careers or sponsorships if they agreed to perform sex acts.
Judge Catherine Muir sentenced him today to three and a half years jail, with parole eligibility on March 9 next year.
Voigt has been in custody since April this year.
"It was serious, predatory conduct … it was devious in the way you went about enticing these young men," she said.
"You completely abused your power as a referee.
"I don't need (victim impact statements) to know that all of these young men had their lives negatively impacted."
The first of the offences occurred in September 2016.
In January and March this year, Voigt acted as umpire in four junior fixtures and twice coached an under 13 team after he was arrested for touching the boys.
He did this despite his blue card, issued as part of a state system for monitoring people who work with children, being revoked.
Voigt pleaded guilty in the Southport District Court this morning to eight counts of indecently treating a child under 16, two counts of using the internet to procure a child under 16, one count of using the internet to procure a child and meeting them, and three counts of continuing regulated employment without a blue card.
Crown prosecutor Stephanie Gallagher said Voigt met the boys when he was umpiring and then contacted them through Facebook.
She said when one of the boys refused a sex act, the man began to punch a nearby bush until the boy agreed.
"It was an abuse of his position of power in a role that he held and he was successful in persuading two young boys into sexual activity with him," she said.
"Consent was not always immediately given and on one occasion there was anger."
Ms Gallagher said Voigt was caught after he propositioned one of the boys over Facebook.
The boy and his parents went to police who took over the boy's social media and arranged to meet the man.
Defence barrister Nick McGhee, instructed by Cooper Maloy Legal, said Voigt earned about $400 a week as a referee.
"He failed to consider the consequences of his actions," he said.
"He has expressed regret and remorse to his psychologist and is determined not to reoffend."
Mr McGhee said Voigt had a troubled childhood and was effectively on his own since he was 12 and was physically abused.
He said when released Voigt hoped to enrol in TAFE to study to become a carpenter or plumber.