THE parents of a girl allegedly raped while she was in day care have told a court how their daughter started to exhibit disturbing behaviour at the age of five.
Ipswich District Court heard the girl was aged between three and five when she was allegedly subjected to repeated sexual abuse at the hands of a 26-year-old man, who is the son of the girl’s former day carer.
Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta said the victim had been raped on four separate occasions, both in the shower and bedroom of her day carer’s suburban Ipswich house, between October 1, 2004, and December 31, 2006.
The prosecution claims the defendant also molested the girl on 11 occasions during that period.
The complainant’s father was the first to give evidence when the trial resumed yesterday, telling the court that on one day in early 2006, he witnessed his then five-year-old daughter – the complainant – performing a sexual act on his eldest daughter, then aged seven.
The father said he’d also witnessed his daughter acting inappropriately towards her younger brother. The girl’s mother said she’d witnessed separate incidents where the girl displayed sexual behaviour around her younger brother.
The incidents prompted questioning about sexual abuse but the girl initially denied being interfered with. It wasn’t until the girl’s older sister allegedly told her step-mother that she had been improperly touched by the defendant that the accusations came to light.
During cross-examination, defence barrister Steve Kissick asked the complainant’s mother if she was concerned that her children may have been accidentally exposed to pornography while staying at their father’s house.
The mother said she was aware of one incident where the children walked in on their father while he was watching pornography.
The defendant has pleaded not guilty to one count of maintaining a relationship with a girl under the age of 16, four counts of rape and 11 counts of indecent treatment of a child under 12.
The alleged victim, now eight and her older sister, 10, have given pre-recorded evidence which will be played to the jury.
The trial, before Judge Deborah Richards, continues.
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