Man faces 38 charges relating to abuse of girls

Pierre John Parsons was jailed for nine months when he appeared at the Dunedin District Court...
Photo: ODT files
A South Otago man is accused of sexually abusing three girls over a 12-year period, allegedly constructing a range of games to hide his intentions.

The defendant, aged in his 60s, is on trial before the Dunedin District Court facing 38 charges from the 1980s and 1990s, including five of rape and one of attempted rape.

The majority of the charges allege numerous indecencies committed by the defendant against the girls, one of whom was at kindergarten at the time.

The first complainant told the jury yesterday — through a video interview with police in 2017 — that she was first sexually assaulted when she was 6.

The defendant, having got her alone, allegedly asked if she wanted to play “mummies and daddies”.

“I remember thinking ‘oh cool, we're going to play with dolls',” the woman said.

But the defendant, she told the court, instructed her to take off her clothes and get into bed with him.

The complainant said the man would regularly show her pornographic magazines and movies.

“One day you will look like this,” he allegedly told the then 9-year-old.

The woman said it got to the stage where she would go to the adult section of the video store and suggest particular films that might suit his tastes.

“We just didn't know any different,” she said.

“He was a real pervert.’’

There were other games he allegedly made two of the complainants play.

“The Radio Game” involved girls sitting on his lap and twisting his nipples, the witness said.

Though she did not understand what was happening at the time, she said the defendant’s arousal was obvious in retrospect.

More frequent, the court heard, was “The Cleaning Game” during which the man allegedly violated the girls under the auspices of ensuring they were properly washed.

“He called me his ‘special girl’, but I didn’t feel very special,” the woman told police.

She said she was never raped but “but anything else he could do, he did”.

“It happened and happened and happened.”

The abuse ended for her when the defendant, uninvited. jumped into the shower with her and attempted to molest her, to which she screamed in protest.

“I was always told I was a liar, that no-one believed me — that's why I've waited 34 years,” she told Detective Jenepher Glover during her interview.

Crown prosecutor Mike Brownlie detailed the extensive allegations the second complainant would make, including rape.

Mr Brownlie told the jury the defendant also violated the girl with various objects “whenever he got the chance”.

Counsel John Westgate told jurors his client staunchly denied the allegations and had done since they were briefly aired in the 1980s.

He said there were inconsistencies between the complainants’ stories and pointed out that some of the women had allowed their own children to stay with the defendant in the intervening years.

“That makes absolutely no sense at all,” Mr Westgate said.

A significant issue the jury would have to grapple with was memory and its inherent unreliability, he said.

At the trial’s outset a statement prepared by experts was read.

“Conversations between witnesses can improve memory with helpful reminders but can be a powerful source of memory contamination,” it said.

Recalling childhood experiences added an extra layer of complexity.

Without independent corroboration, the statement said, there was no way to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate memories with complete certainty.

The trial, before Judge Michael Crosbie and a jury of six men and six women, is scheduled to end next week.


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