Man denies sexually abusing his step-daughter

A MAN accused of sexually abusing his young step-daughter in a garden shed has emphatically told a jury he is not guilty of the charges.

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Ipswich District Court to six charges including four counts of indecent treatment and maintaining an unlawful relationship with a child.

The court heard the alleged offences took place between January 2000 and January 2004 when the family lived at three addresses in Lowood, Raceview and Churchill.

The girl was aged between 5 and 8 during the alleged offending period.

Crown prosecutor Matt Le Grand told the court several of the offences relate to encounters in a garden shed when the family lived at Lowood.

He said on those occasions the man and girl were in the shed listening to music and dancing.

"The defendant lifted the girl upside down, her legs near his shoulders and he then touched her vagina," he said.

"On another occasion he lifted her up but this time his mouth came into contact with her vagina."

Mr Le Grand said when the family later moved to an address in Raceview the offending against the girl continued.

He said the girl would tell the court about what she remembered from that time in her life.

"When the family moved to Raceview the man exposed her to a pornographic film while they were sitting together in the lounge room," he said.

"The girl will also tell you she remembered the man touching her on the breast and vagina when they were sitting on the couch once.

"She will also tell you about drives she used to go on with the man where she would sit on his lap.

"He says he was teaching her how to drive but she remembers he would inappropriately touch her during these drives.

"She remembers these drives happening once or twice a month."

Mr Le Grand told the jury the girl's evidence was central to the case and said it was up to them to determine whether she was a reliable and truthful witness.

The girl, who is now an adult, gave evidence on Tuesday afternoon in closed court.

The trial will hear from eight witnesses and is expected to last up to three days.

The trial before Judge Sarah Bradley continues.



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