Jury to decide fate of man accused of raping child in car

A GLADSTONE man who is accused of raping and molesting his partner's granddaughter faces an anxious wait while a jury considers his fate.

The jury retired shortly after 12pm on Tuesday to consider their verdict

The man, 52, pleaded not guilty in the Brisbane District Court this week to two rape and three molestation offences stemming from interactions with the then eight-year-old girl between June 16 and August 23 last year.

Crown prosecutor Sam Bain told the court at the start of the trial the man, who cannot be named in order to protect the child's identity, had been in a four-year relationship with the child's grandmother at the time.

He said the alleged offending took place during an overnight car trip from Brisbane to Gladstone after the man helped the child's mother relocate to the region to be closer to her mother which was his partner.

The court was played a recorded interview conducted at Rockhampton Police Station in August last year where the girl outlined to investigators what had occurred during the car trip.

She said the man placed his left hand beneath her underwear while he was driving and started to wriggle his fingers inside and outside, referring to her vagina and anus, before telling the girl what they had done was beautiful.

The girl said during the police interview she only told her mother what happened after the man's relationship with her grandmother ended.

Defence barrister Don Mackenzie told jurors in his brief opening address at the start of the trial the girl was not a victim because the alleged offences had simply not occurred.

- APN NEWSDESK



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