A Geraldton District Court jury has heard testimonies from two young girls who said they were sexually abused by their father over a period of at least five years. The man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the alleged victims, is on trial facing charges of sexual penetration and indecent dealing with a child under 13, and one charge of indecently dealing with a child over 13. He is alleged to have abused his step-daughter six times when she was between the ages of six or seven to 13, with the first between 2012 and 2014 and the last between 2016 and 2020. He is also accused of indecently dealing with his biological daughter between 2019 to 2021, when she was either nine or 10. The offences are alleged to have occurred at the man’s homes in Rangeway and Utakarra, when the daughters were staying on fortnightly visits away from their mother, after the couple separated. Police were informed in 2021 after the girl’s mother was informed the younger daughter had told school friends about the alleged act against her. The man pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday, March 20, and has been on trial over the past three days. Both daughters, who are still under-age, have provided evidence in the form of recorded interviews and live examinations, detailing the sequence of the alleged offences. In her examination, the older daughter said the man carried out the alleged offences when they were alone together and “whenever he had the chance”. The defendant’s lawyer, Craig Astill, suggested to both of the daughters that they were lying about the alleged offences ever happening, suggesting the younger daughter had made the story up to impress new friends, and that the older daughter had followed along to help her sister. Both denied this suggestion. When asked by Mr Astill why she had not told someone earlier, the older daughter, in tears, said she had been “too scared” to tell. “I thought that nobody would believe me,” she said. “I was scared.” Mr Astill also questioned the timing of details given by the witnesses surrounding the alleged offences, such as the dates of when the man moved homes, when he began dating his new partner and the births of the witnesses’ siblings, after claiming in his opening remarks that the evidence of the two alleged victims was inaccurate and unreliable. In his opening remarks, State Prosecutor Stuart Packham said it was to be expected the children would not be able to remember some of the exact details of the alleged offences which happened years before charges were made. “We are talking about things that happened to a child at very tender years,” he said. A recorded police interview with the man was also played, in which he denied any of the events ever occuring. “I have never done anything like this with any underage person and never would,” he said. The jury will deliberate on a decision on Friday.