Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Juror In Tears As Sex Tape Played In Court

A jury member wept, while others shielded their eyes during several graphic scenes in a video depicting the alleged rape of a teenage girl.

The 90-minute tape was played in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday on day two of the trial of a 49-year-old man facing a raft of sex charges.

It was the first time a video of that nature had been shown at a criminal trial in Taranaki.

While the accused bowed his head during most of the tape, some members of the jury looked shocked and disturbed as the video showed the man ordering the girl to remove her school uniform and assume various sexual positions.

It also showed the man having oral sex with the girl, who was 14 when the tape was made.

The complainant, now 22, struggled during the video evidence. The judge adjourned proceedings when she burst into tears.

The accused, whose name is suppressed, is facing 32 charges – eight of rape, 10 of indecent assault and 14 of sexual violation – against the complainant when she was aged 12-15.

Defence counsel Lance Rowe repeatedly stopped and rewound parts of the video as he cross-examined the complainant.

She denied she had ever made sexual deals with the accused in return for cigarettes and money.

She said she was ordered into a bedroom and had been too scared to say no.

"I wanted it over and done with. I was scared, all I wanted to do was get out of it."

Although Mr Rowe told the court the acts on the video were child abuse, he asked the complainant if she had lied about when the abuse started.

"He pushed me into the bedroom – I was only 12," she replied. "I had no choice, he was too strong for me."

The trial continues today.

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