Vic chef avoids jail for sex act with 16yo

Graeme Walter has narrowly avoided a jail sentence for sexual offending with a 16-year-old girl.
Graeme Walter has narrowly avoided a jail sentence for sexual offending with a 16-year-old girl.

A former Melbourne chef, who sexually penetrated an intoxicated 16-year-old girl, gave her his clothes afterwards to wash so he could hide the incident from his wife.

Graeme John Walter, 34, narrowly avoided jail on Thursday, but has been warned if he fails to get treatment that's where he'll go.

Walter, then a chef at a Mornington Peninsula restaurant, tried to kiss the teenager after they had been drinking one night in June 2019.

The girl pushed him away and tried to diffuse the situation by suggesting that they hit the road.

On the way out the door they went into a bathroom where Walter pulled down his pants and the girl's, and sexually penetrated her twice.

She then got up and vomited in the toilet. He also vomited.

Walter then took the girl home and said he shouldn't have done what he did because he had a wife and family.

County Court Judge Kevin Doyle said the girl had been on her period and Walter got blood on his jumper.

He asked her to take his jumper home and wash it so his wife wouldn't find out, and she agreed.

Family noticed changes in the girl and asked if something happened. She replied that she couldn't say because it would "ruin someone's life".

Walter was arrested in March last year and admitted to police he tried to have sex with the girl, but couldn't get an erection.

He said he threw up a couple of times, realised the gravity of the situation and "freaked out and panicked a bit".

Walter pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual penetration of a 16-year-old.

Judge Doyle said the girl had suffered depression and nightmares after the incident.

"You persisted after she pushed you away," he said.

He said Walter, who admitted problems with drugs and alcohol but now abstains from both, had a good prospect of rehabilitation.

He now lives with his parents after separating from his wife because of the incident and is unable to continue working as a chef.

Judge Doyle ordered he undergo drug, alcohol and mental health treatment, and complete 180 hours of unpaid community work.

"You've missed going to jail by a sliver in this case. If you don't do this order I won't hesitate in ordering imprisonment," he said.

He'll also be placed on the sex offender register for 15 years.

Australian Associated Press