An application for a no jury order has been heard in court.
An application for a no jury order has been heard in court. Rae Wilson

Man who got stepdaughter pregnant disputes custody of child

A MARYBOROUGH man accused of sexually abusing his stepdaughter from the age of five, then raping her and causing her to fall pregnant as a teenager, has had his application for a no jury order dismissed by the District Court of Queensland.

His alleged crimes were brought to light after a custody dispute between the man and his stepdaughter.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with 15 offences, including procuring a child to commit an indecent act, indecent dealing, unlawful exposure and rape.

A no jury order would have meant that his case would be decided by a judge, not a jury, in the event of a trial, as the man intended to plead not guilty to the charges.

According to evidence presented to the court, the man became involved in a relationship with the girl's mother when she was 12 months old and was her only father figure.

The abuse allegedly started when the girl was aged between five and six.

The court heard graphic allegations, including suggestions the man exposed himself to the girl on numerous occasions and forced her to commit indecent acts.

The court was told the abuse continued as the alleged victim was growing up until her mother and stepfather separated.

The girl continued to live with the defendant after the separation.

But according to the evidence presented, there was a long period of time without any incidents because she was living with the defendant's friends and family and they were never alone together.

But when she was 13 the abuse allegedly started again.

She was 15 when the first alleged rape happened, days after she was forced to watch pornography on the defendant's laptop.

After the first alleged rape, the court heard the defendant continued to have sex with the the girl every night by pinning her down by her wrists.

He did not wear protection and she had no contraception.

When she was 17 she missed her period and discovered she was pregnant. The baby was born in April 2013.

When the baby was born, the alleged victim left the defendant's home and moved in with a friend, after which there was a custody dispute between herself and her stepfather.

The defendant took part in an interview with the police in August last year where he denied any allegation of indecent treatment and rape.

He told police he was the stepfather of the alleged victim and most people knew him to be her father.

He made admissions to being the father of her child and said a sexual relationship had started when she was 17.

The defendant said they had planned to have a baby together and had done research as to how to have <QL>a girl.

He said the alleged victim left him because he caught her cheating on him.

It was argued by the defence that it would be impossible to quarantine the lawful conduct of the defendant from his immoral conduct, as he had cared for the complainant as an infant, but started a sexual relationship with her when she was 17.

Judge Justin Smith, who considered the application, said juries were directed by trial judges to approach their duties dispassionately, ignoring public opinion and to base their verdicts only on evidence led in the courtroom.

Judge Smith said it was true there was prejudicial evidence against the defendant, but that was the nature of the allegations against him.

"The evidence of alleged sexual offending commencing when the defendant was very young is at least relevant to whether or not she consented to sexual intercourse after she was 16," he said.

Judge Smith said he did not consider the case to be like some other instances where it would be impossible for a jury to ignore inadmissible evidence.

"The prejudicial evidence in this case is admissible," he said.

"In my opinion, having considered all matters, it has not been established that it is in the interests of justice for a no jury order to be made and I dismiss the application."

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