Kids recall ‘pain’ after stepdad’s alleged sexual assault

THE three boys who were allegedly sexually assaulting by their stepfather were able to give a detailed account of the offences, a court heard.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is accused of maintaining a sexual relationship with three brothers aged between 10 and 14, culminating in 27 charges against him.

He is charged with at least 14 counts of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person older than 10-years and younger than 14-years, six counts of indecent assault of a person under 16 years, two counts of aggravated indecency where the victim was younger than 16, three counts of an adult maintaining unlawful relationships with a child and two counts of having sexual intercourse with a person older than 10 and younger than 14 years.

The alleged offences were against the three juvenile complainants, who were aged between 10 and 14 years at the time, between 2017 and 2018 in the Tweed Shire.

The man, who was in a de facto relationship with the boys' mother at the time, lived with the boys from late 2017 to August 2018.

During this time, he allegedly maintained a sexual relationship with the three boys.

It is also alleged once the relationship between the man and the boys' mother broke down - resulting in him moving out of the family home - he continued to maintain a sexual relationship with one of the boys.

During his closing address, the Crown Prosecutor told the jury the evidence they had heard during the two-week trial indicated the victims could only have been telling the truth.

He said the victims had each given "detailed" accounts of the alleged sexual relationships they had with the accused, and at some points had described the physical "pain" they had felt from those incidents.

When referring to one of the allegations that the man ejaculated onto one of the child's stomach, the Crown Prosecutor said the child, who had told the court he thought he'd been spat or urinated on by the accused, was simply giving evidence of a sexual manner well beyond his understanding.

The Crown Prosecutor also said the victims, while they couldn't pinpoint every alleged incident, did speak to the "frequency" of the allegations.

"The sexual events happened very frequently, so frequently they haven't remembered all the details of all of them, but they have been able to remember some of them with detail," he said.

"(The accused) cultivated sexual relationships by giving gifts, giving privileges culmination of promises and threats and over time he normalised that sexual relationship with all of the boys.

"The boys clearly had mixed feelings for the accused, even despite his sexual behaviour and even after he separated from their mother."

But the accused's defence barrister, Harry Maarraoui, said the jury must consider all the evidence, and question how in reality a man could maintain sexual relationships in a busy household.

"When you consider all the evidence of the complainants, you must be asking yourself how did he have the time to do it," Mr Maarraoui said.

"How did he have the time as often as the complainants were saying it and in the background of the household that (the victims' mother ran) the household she ran and the activities that they were also doing at that particular point in time?"

Judge Jeffery McLennan is expected to give his directions to the Jury on Tuesday morning in Lismore District Court.

*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.   


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