A 23-year-old truck driver accused of sexually abusing a young girl during religious studies has been granted strict conditional bail.
Vincenzo Bilal Bagnato was arrested in July 2020 and charged with seven counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 years of age, three counts of having sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 14 years, and sexually touching another person without consent.
The incidents allegedly occurred when he gave her religious lessons about the Islamic faith.
During his bail application in the NSW Supreme Court on Wednesday, Bagnato's lawyer Ertunc Ozen said his client denied doing anything to the girl that could be construed as indecent or sexual.
"There is no material to suggest he is a repeat offender or has an unhealthy sexual interest in pre-pubescent girls," he said.
The Crown read out a section of two phone calls in which Bagnato allegedly says " I'm truly truly sorry for what happened ..........you must forgive me, I'm sorry," after the young girl asks why he hurt her in the back seat of his car.
Mr Ozen disputed the evidence without a transcript or recording, saying Bagnato denied admitting any wrongdoing during the calls
Justice Robertson Wright said it was impossible to reach a conclusion or to draw any inferences regarding the alleged recorded phone call.
Given the "serious nature" of the accusations if convicted, Bagnato would be back in jail for a substantial time.
He pointed to Bagnato's youth and vulnerability in prison as a result of such allegations, and said he had no prior criminal record or history of related offences.
Bagnato was ordered to report daily to Bankstown police station and reside with his wife in their Punchbowl home and to observe a curfew between 9pm and 6am.
A family member offered $500,000 taken from a mortgage as security to be forfeited if Bagnato fails to turn up to court.
He's due to appear at Liverpool Local Court on August 31.