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Jail coach who slept with teens: SA DPP

AAP logoAAP 22/11/2016 Rick Goodman

A former Adelaide gymnastics coach convicted of sex offences against two teenage girls is naive, a danger to the community and should be thrown in jail immediately, a prosecutor says.

But the man's lawyer says the relationships were consensual and he was just a "silly, immature young man" rather than a pedophile, so he should receive a suspended sentence.

The 31-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to two counts of the persistent sexual exploitation of a child between 2008 and 2011, relating to the girls who were 15 and 16 at the time.

Prosecutor Tegan Mullan says a jail sentence is appropriate given the gravity of the crimes and the need to deter people in positions of authority from taking advantage of younger people.

"(He) was in a position of some trust with (one girl) while being involved with her classes, on some occasions in his coaching uniform," Ms Mulan told the District Court in sentencing submissions on Tuesday.

"And by his own acknowledgement during evidence, each coach was responsible for all athletes in the broader sense."

The court heard the man, who is now engaged, was in an extended relationship with one of the girls and her parents were aware they were having sex.

"It's absolutely clear that my client is not a pedophile," defence lawyer John Lyons said.

"He's a silly, immature young man who got involved in a relationship with a younger woman.

"He's in a very stable relationship now, living with his fiance. He's not a risk to anybody."

An expert's report found the man was a strong candidate for home detention despite showing some naivety in his desire to return to cheerleading.

"Why would a grown man want to return to cheerleading?" Judge Steven Millsteed asked.

"My client wanted to continue dealing with adults in gymnastics and in cheerleading," Mr Lyons replied.

The man will be sentenced on December 5.

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