A teenage girl has denied inventing an allegation of rape
because she wanted to outdo her sister in her sexual abuse
claims against a man both girls have accused of molesting
''This isn't a competition. This is real life,'' the
15-year-old said yesterday in response to a suggestion she
changed her story to include the rape allegation after her
sister disclosed she too had been indecently touched by the
The girl was being cross-examined by defence counsel Sarah
Saunderson-Warner on the second day of the 65-year-old man's
jury trial in the Dunedin District Court.
He denies six indecency charges - one of rape and four
alleging sexual conduct with the first girl when she was
under the age of 12, and one charge relating to alleged
sexual conduct with the second girl, also under 12.
All the offending is alleged to have happened in houses in
Dunedin and Arrowtown on various dates between late 2005 and
early 2009. Evidence in the trial will be completed later
today and Judge Michael Crosbie is expected to send the jury
out to deliberate tomorrow.
Crown counsel Craig Power told the jurors on Tuesday the
first girl disclosed the man's alleged offending against her
after she had a conversation with a friend in which rape was
The girl then spoke to her sister, who told her the man had
also touched her indecently. Ms Saunderson-Warner yesterday
challenged the first girl's version of events, suggesting she
changed her story when talking to others because she knew she
would be found out.
''No. What happened to me, happened,'' the girl said. To a
suggestion the events were untrue, that the man had never
touched her sexually at all, the girl responded: ''He did
touch me, he did rape me''.
The girl also denied a suggestion her sexual abuse claims
resulted from a desire for attention, that she saw two fellow
pupils receiving much sympathy and attention from others
because of problems from eating disorders. She was a friend
of the two girls and was worried about them ''as any friend
But that was not why she spoke about what had happened to
her, she said. She denied discussing the matter freely with a
lot of people. She had talked only with people who were close
to her. It was not a ploy to gain attention, she said.
The girl's teenage sister described an incident about four
years ago, when she was 11 and the man woke her, took her to
the room where he had been sleeping and started touching her
She asked what he was doing, pulled her pyjama pants back up
and went back to bed. The man then got her sister out of bed
and took her to the other room.
At that time, she did not know ''all that stuff'' was
happening to her sister, the second girl said. Her sister was
the first person she told about the night-time incident.
That was in April last year. The girl said she had not been
sure what was happening because she was young, quite
sheltered from sexual matters and ''really, really scared''.
The man never said anything to her afterwards about what
happened and acted like it was normal.
''And I said nothing.''
Auckland consultant psychologist Suzanne Blackwell told the
court retrospective and child clinical studies showed delays
in reporting child sexual abuse were common.
There were many reasons for that. Only a small percentage of
perpetrators were strangers to the child victims and victims
were more likely to report abuse by strangers than by people
they knew, Dr Blackwell said.
She agreed with Ms Saunderson-Warner that the timing of a
complaint did not assist in determining its credibility.