Sexual indiscretion destroyed life

“HE IS living every man’s worst nightmare – a sexual indiscretion that led to the destruction of his marriage and loss of his child through a fatal attraction.”

Defence counsel Kate Traill made the comment while summing up defence argument in the Lismore District Court trial of her Northern Rivers client.

The man, now aged 49, faces 11 charges including a series of indecent assaults and having sex with a minor, that he is accused of committing against his former sister-in-law when she was a schoolgirl aged 14 and 15.

The businessman is 22 years older than the complainant and has strongly defended the charges. He denies ever sexually assaulting his former wife’s younger sister, (now aged 27) 12 years ago.

The businessman told the court the pair did have a (legal) sexual relationship later but only after she turned 16 and which continued for some years with the teenage girl later moving in with him.

The Crown in summing up its case yesterday, said the indecent assaults included touching her breasts when she was aged 14 and other inappropriate sexual touching, with the man’s behaviour progressing to sexual penetration that was digital and then penile.

“It was grooming. It (was) a progressive thing. It started subtly ... and I suggest she was manipulated by him,” the Crown said.

“There is a big age difference, a man who is 20 years older. She was a child hitting puberty.

“When she got pregnant for the second or third time she complained.”

Ms Traill said the key issue in the case was the girl’s age at the time and was ‘all about dates’, with the school girl developing a crush on her brother-in-law that grew.

Ms Traill said when the sex took place (at 16) it had been consensual and legal.

The Jury will go out today to decide its verdict on the charges.

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