Accused denies 'grooming'

A NORTHERN RIVERS man accused of raping and indecently assaulting his sister-in-law when she was aged 15, has told how he was happily married and only had sex with his wife’s younger sister after she turned 16.

He denied Crown allegations that he had been ‘grooming’ the girl since she was 12 with inappropriate touching leading up to sex.

The man now aged 49, said in evidence during his trial before Lismore District Court that consensual sexual intercourse happened only once in August 1999, and had occurred on ‘the spur of the moment’ after they began kissing in her bedroom.

The man, who is 23 years her senior, denied he had previously been sexually attracted to his wife’s sister until that incident.

He also denied that this ‘first’ sexual encounter had taken place much earlier in 1998.

During cross-examination, the man said there was ‘no lead-up whatsoever’ to them making love.

The man agreed the girl fell pregnant but denied that she had been pregnant in early 1999.

“She later told you she had a miscarriage and that you said ‘good’,” the Crown put to him.

“No, not true,” he replied.

“You did not want her to go to the doctor and spill the beans on what you had been doing to her,” said the Crown.

“No,” he said.

“There were three pregnancies?

“No,” he said.

The man said the repercussions had been huge after their families found out, and his wife and child left him.

The trial is expected to conclude today.

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