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Girl tells jury: I was too scared to report

A preteen girl told the Supreme Court yesterday that she did not tell anyone she was sexually assaulted because she was scared.

She explained that she only told her great-grandmother about the abuse after a man was discovered in her bedroom.

The child, who cannot be named for legal reasons, described to jurors how the man had sex with her in her bedroom about two years ago.

It came on the second day of the trial of a 26-year-old man facing several sex offences involving a minor.

She previously described how the same man groped her and had sex with her about nine months earlier inside the same house.

The girl said yesterday that she could not remember exactly when the second incident, which lasted “a couple of seconds” had taken place, but that it was sometime during the summer of 2017. She added: “It wasn’t during school.”

The girl said she could see the face of the man because of a light outside her home, and identified him as the defendant.

She said that he had left her room after he heard a noise from somewhere else inside the house.

Maria Sofianos, for the Crown, asked the child if she had told anyone about what had happened the next day.

The girl said she did not.

She added: “I was scared.”

The girl also told the court about the day the man was found in her room several months after the second incident.

The child recalled that she had been awoken by the sound of her great-grandmother screaming after she went into the girl’s bedroom and found the defendant inside.

She said that she told the family member later that day after she had come home from school that she had been touched by the man.

The girl told jurors that she later gave two interviews to police and used diagrams to show where she had been touched.

She also told the court that she had visited the doctor. The defendant, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, denies unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 14, and two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person by a person in a position of trust.

The three charges relate to an incident alleged to have taken place on or about September 23, 2016.

He also denies attempted unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 14. That charge relates to an incident alleged to have happened on an unknown date between June 27, 2017 and September 11, 2017.

The defendant is represented by Elizabeth Christopher.

The girl agreed with Ms Christopher under cross-examination that her great-grandmother told her she was going to take her to the hospital before she told her that she had been touched by the man.

Ms Christopher suggested to the child that she had only told her family member that she had been touched to avoid going to the hospital.

She also suggested to the girl that the defendant did not have sex with her and did not touch her. The child responded to both: “He did”.

The trial continues.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.