Stepdaughter accused of lying to please mother

The stepdaughter of a man on 17 child abuse charges has been accused of making up the allegations in order please her mother, a court has heard.

The man, who has name suppression, faces a jury trial this week before Judge David Robinson in the Dunedin District Court.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to sexually abusing his stepdaughters for years, allegedly repeatedly groping them when their mother was not around, and forcing one of them to perform sex acts on him.

Yesterday, the now 19-year-old complainant described how the man would walk in on her while she was showering and poke at her body while making derogatory comments.

She alleged the man physically abused her and even bench-pressed her body while violating her with his hand.

"You said that he picked you up in the bench-press position and pushed you upwards like he was bench-pressing a weight," counsel Sarah Saunderson-Warner said.

"That was just something that happened in your household as a joke and now you have turned that into a sexual incident.

"... You are making up that he rubbed you in the breast and you are making up that he touched your vagina area?" Ms Saunderson-Warner said.

"I disagree," the complainant said.

The woman said the groping mainly happened when her siblings were not around and she only told her mother after her sister disclosed her own alleged abuse.

Both stepdaughters said they feared for their own safety and the safety of their family, so they did what the man told them to do.

"It wasn’t my choice," the woman said.

Both were accused of "being swept up in a web of lies" and making false allegations to please their mother, the court heard.

"No, that’s not what any mother would want to hear," the complainant said.

The trial is set to last the remainder of the week. The mother is expected to give evidence today.