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District Court jury finds Geraldton man guilty of sexually abusing ex-partner’s eight-year old daughter

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
A jury has found a Geraldton man guilty of sexually abusing his ex-partner’s eight-year-old child after a four-day trial.
Camera IconA jury has found a Geraldton man guilty of sexually abusing his ex-partner’s eight-year-old child after a four-day trial. Credit: Gavin Box/The Geraldton Guardian

A Geraldton man accused of sexually abusing his ex-partner’s eight-year-old daughter has been found guilty by a District Court jury after a four-day trial.

The 55-year-old man — who cannot be named to protect the identity of his victim — stood trial in Geraldton District Court this week for nine counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13 years and one count of sexual penetration of a child under 13.

The offences were committed over a period from July 2019 to January 2021 while the man was in a relationship with the victim’s mother.

In one incident, the court was told the man kissed and touched the girl at his home when her mum left the room to make a cup of tea.

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On another occasion, the victim went to get McDonald’s with the man when he put his hands down her pants.

The court was also told how the man exposed his genitals to the girl and groped her private parts.

A video of the now 11-year-old girl’s interview, recorded in 2021, was played to the jury and detailed her allegations against the man.

When it was put to her that the man didn’t do any of these offences, she defiantly said “no one else did it, he did it.”

The State prosecutor told the jury in his closing statement that the prosecution case relied on the evidence of the victim and that any inconsistencies could be explained by her age.

He said these were not isolated incidents and occurred over an extensive period of time.

Defence lawyer Kate Fry said in her closing remarks to the jury that her client was facing some of the most serious allegations someone can be accused off.

However, she highlighted there was no physical evidence, eye witnesses or forensic evidence.

Ms Fry said the offending was often so brazen that it would be implausible for the allegations to have occurred.

After deliberating for hours on Thursday, the jury reached a unanimous verdict finding the man guilty of eight of the 10 counts.

He was found guilty of seven counts of indecent dealings and one count of sexual penetration and not guilty of two counts of indecent dealings.

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