A teenager has bravely spoken out about the disturbing texts she received from her sports coach when she was just 15 years old.
The victim chose to talk about her ordeal publicly when her former lacrosse coach was handed a suspended sentence after admitting to the crime.
Gerard Dominic Wills, 51, who once represented Australia in the sport, was slapped with a 16-month suspended sentence for asking the girl to perform sexual acts on herself and send him pictures.
The brave teenager, who is now 19, said while the last four years had been difficult, she was relieved the crime had been admitted, although she had hoped for a jail term.
‘I am quite disappointed… I was hoping he would go to jail. But I just wanted the guilty plea. I just wanted closure. I just wanted it done,’ she told The West Australian.
She said she decided to speak out so that other young women would be encouraged to report their own experiences.
In the sentencing hearing the WA District Court heard how Wills met the girl when he was coaching the state under-15s girls lacrosse team.
The teenager was going through some mental health issues the same year and had self-harmed to the point of attempting suicide.
Over the course of two years she began to rely on him for support, even after he stopped coaching her. ‘
‘I was very dependent on him,’ she said.
However, in July 2016, Wills sent her 40 texts in one night including a string of messages encouraging her to perform sexual acts and then send him pictures.
Wills asked her to ‘lick your fingers’ and a ‘try a vibrator’ and he later asked ‘could you send a photo?’.
He later repeatedly asked her to delete the texts.
The teenager said she only built the courage to speak up after a few years and he stopped talking to her.
Wills pleaded guilty to using electronic communication to procure a person under the age of 16 years to engage in sexual activity.
Charges of indecent dealing with a child over 13 and under 16 were later dropped.
The victim said she did not instigate any of the messages and immediately thought they were ‘inappropriate’.
Wills was also hit with a restraining order preventing him from ever contacting the victim.