A Melbourne chef who sexually assaulted a teenage girl in a restaurant bathroom, before driving her home and telling her about his wife and children, has narrowly avoided jail.
- Graeme Walter will serve a community-based order for the attack
- The court heard his victim does not feel safe after the incident
- The former Two Buoys head chef resigned from the restaurant after being arrested last March
Graeme Walter, 34, was today sentenced to a community-based order over the incident at Two Buoys Tapas and Wine Bar in Dromana, where he was the head chef.
The father of three will be a registered sex offender for the next 15 years, a move that effectively ends his hospitality career.
Victorian prosecutors had conceded that a community-based order was open for consideration.
County Court Judge Kevin Doyle said Walter’s victim was just 16 years old at the time of the attack.
“The victim was feeling completely drunk,” the judge said.
“She should’ve been safe. Instead you engaged in sexual activity with her.”
The County Court heard that in the lead-up to the incident in 2019, Walter and his victim were drinking at the Mornington Peninsula restaurant.
“When the two of you were alone you tried to kiss her but she pushed you away,” Judge Doyle said.
But as the pair left the restaurant, he sexually assaulted her in the bathroom.
Afterwards, Walter drove the girl home, but not before making an admission.
“You said you should not have done what you did because of your wife and family,” the judge said.
Walter was arrested in March last year and resigned from the restaurant not long after the attack.
Judge Doyle said that the 34-year-old’s actions had devastated the girl.
“She does not feel safe travelling around the community,” he said.
The girl’s mother told the court that her daughter’s sleeping patterns had changed and she had been sobbing and hitting her head on walls.
Walter has since separated from his wife, and lives with his parents on their family farm. He still sees his children on weekends.
The court heard that he feels “deep shame” over the incident and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
Judge Doyle said that had Walter pleaded not guilty, he would have been jailed for 15 months.
Walter must undertake treatment for drug and alcohol abuse.