Retrial on child sexual abuse charges starts

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AN Invercargill man accused of raping an 8-year-old girl and indecently assaulting a 5-year-old girl appeared on the first day of a jury retrial in Invercargill on Monday.

The 43-year-old man, who has name suppression, is on retrial before Judge Peter Rollo in the Invercargill District Court on five charges: three of indecent assault, one of inducing a child to do an indecent act and one of rape.

The offending is alleged to have taken place in three separate incidents between 2005 and 2017, all in Invercargill.

In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly said one victim was aged 8 when she was indecently assaulted and raped, then 12 when she was indecently assaulted. The other victim was 5 years old when she was indecently assaulted, he said.

The two victims were unknown to each other.

Counsel Hugo Young kept his opening to a succinct few sentences. “As you know there are five charges which allege various sexual acts against two people that are children.

“In answer to the five allegations the defence says the alleged rape, the alleged sexual touching and alleged sexual acts did not occur. This did not happen.”

It was in 2011 that one of the victims made a complaint to police. In her police interview played to jurors on Monday, the girl (then aged 14) told police what she alleged happened.

“He was babysitting us kids and I couldn’t go to sleep. I went to him and said I couldn’t go to sleep,” she said during the interview.

“He said, show you how you can get to sleep’.”

It was then it is alleged he indecently assaulted, induced her to do a sexual act and raped her.

Under cross-examination, the woman (now 25 years old) said it was painful when she was raped.

Mr Young asked her if she had ever said it was painful when questioned by police or during the previous trial. She admitted she had not.

It was on the last occasion, when she says she was indecently assaulted in her bedroom, she first told a family member.

Mr Young put it to the victim the watching of a movie which addressed rape spurred her on to invent what had happened.

The woman denied that was the case. The trial is expected to finish tomorrow.

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