Child sexual abuse trial brought forward

Courthouse  TBW Newsgroup
BAIL REFUSED: Three men were remanded in custody in court yesterday following their arrest in the early hours of the morning in relation to various serious incidents.

THE trial of a Millicent man accused of multiple unlawful sexual acts against two children started this week.

Facing charges of two counts of aggravated indecent assault, one count of indecent assault and one count of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child, the 49-year-old accused’s fate lies in the hands of 12 jury members.

The defendant entered not guilty pleas for all charges during an arraignment hearing in the Mount Gambier District Court earlier this year.

The prosecutor revealed charges related to two victims known to the accused who live in the Millicent district.

While providing a summary of allegations, the prosecution said the first three indecent assault charges related to one victim, while the count of maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child related to the other.

The prosecutor said she expected when the first victim gave evidence in court, they would reveal to the jury members the impacts of the alleged crimes.

“I expect they will say while there were positive aspects to the relationship with the accused, it was soured by sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour,” the prosecutor said.

In relation to the aggravated sexual assault charges, the prosecutor said allegations were the accused acted or attempted sexual acts upon the first victim when they were seven years old.

The first alleged incident occurred while the accused was watching a pornographic film on a television with the victim present.

It is alleged the accused sat next to the victim and reached into their underwear, touching the victim inappropriately.

“They sat and were unable to move, which I expect they will say was due to shock.”

After some time, the prosecutor said the accused directed the child to masturbate and use a sex toy, which the victim declined.

The prosecutor said allegations encompassed two counts of aggravated indecent assault.

When referring to the victim’s second allegation, which encompassed one count of indecent assault, the prosecutor said it involved when the accused and the victim went on a trip on January 22 last year.

“The accused bought some alcohol for them to drink and let (the victim) try on some clothes and massaged their shoulders.

“The accused offered to give a back massage and they agreed and laid down.”

The alleged offending involved the accused massaging the victim’s thighs after removing their pants and touching their genitals.

“As this point, (the victim) jumped up and protested what he was doing,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said there was background of other acts towards (the victim) which made them feel uncomfortable.

The prosecutor outlined examples including the accused wearing shorts which exposed his genitals, the accused continuously trying to tickle and wrestle with the victim, touching their thighs and standing behind and grabbing their hips.

“It explains why (the victim) would be unlikely to complain about the accused’s sexual touching,” the prosecutor said.

“It also explains (the victim’s) reaction, or in this case, lack of reaction to this behaviour over time.”

When considering the maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a child charge, the prosecutor said it involved another victim with offending occurring over a nine-year period from November 2009 to December 2018.

“This offence, unlike the indecent assault charges, brings together a number of acts of sexual touching over a period of time into one charge,” he said.

The prosecutor said the first instance of offending on the second victim started when they were five.

“I expect they too will tell you the accused touched them sexually and their sexual abuse was more extensive,” he said.

The last alleged offence occurred at the end of 2018 when the defendant was massaging the victim and after some time placed his hands on their chest.

“(The victim) does remember other occasions, but can not recall details such as where and when, which can be considered to make up for the count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child,” the prosecutor said.

The trial, expected to finish this week, was brought forward from October and started on Monday.