A 20-year-old man who masturbated on children's clothes hanging from his neighbour's washing line has won his bid to be able to work with children in Australia, according to reports.
The man, whose identity has not been disclosed, committed the lewd act in 2014, while his neighbours were not at home.
He was arrested on his 18th birthday, but charges against him were later dropped on conditions he underwent psychological treatment, news site News.com reported
The man, who is studying to become an occupational therapist, recently applied for a Working with Children Check clearance.
The New South Wales (NSW) Children's Guardian refused to give it to him, as it considered him a threat to the safety of children. The association also feared that not enough time had passed since the incident took place.
However, the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal decided to grant him a Working with Children Check clearance on Wednesday (20 September), concluding that he does not pose a threat to children.
The man told a psychologist that he never intended to harm anyone with his act, which he carried out only "to feel the rush of doing something not right".
"I never intended to hurt anybody or put the neighbours through anything," he said. "Knowing I've hurt a family kills me inside."
He further explained that at the time he committed the act, he suffered from chronic acne and was under pressure due to problems with his girlfriend as well as well as Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams.
The tribunal accepted evidence from psychologists that the man's behaviour was not driven by a sexually deviant behaviour.
The tribunal concluded the man now appreciates the seriousness of his act and the potential harm it could have caused, after he acknowledged that children would have been traumatised and frightened if they had seen him during the act.