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Man denies sexually abusing underage girl

A man has denied sexually abusing an underage girl.

The 26-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told a jury yesterday that he never had any sexual contact with the child.

Prosecutors alleged that in one incident that took place on or about September 23, 2016, he touched and had sex with the girl while he was watching her and her younger cousin.

However, he told the court that friends had visited the house that night and he only occasionally stopped by the room the girls were in to check on them as they watched television.

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also claimed that the defendant had touched her on an unknown date in the summer of 2017.

But the defendant said he was not around the house at the time when the incident was alleged to have happened.

He said: “I wasn’t over the house around that time, so I don’t see how it’s possible to touch her.”

And challenged about a third incident on November 1, 2017, in which he was alleged to have been found in the girl’s bedroom by her great-grandmother, the defendant said he was ill from drinking.

The defendant told the court: “I started feeling sick and I felt like I was going to throw up so I rushed towards the bathroom area.

“I don’t remember if I went to the bathroom, but I remember going towards the bedroom there was a small trash bin. I leant over the trash bin and I started retching.”

He said the next thing he remembered was a woman shouting at him.

The man 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 the incident alleged to have taken place on or about September 23, 2016.

The defendant also denied 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.

Earlier in the day, the court heard evidence from the girl’s grandmother, who said she was woken on the morning of November 1 by the sound of screams from her mother — the alleged victim’s great-grandmother.

She said she went to her granddaughter’s room and saw the defendant in plaid boxer shorts and the girl in her bed under her covers.

The witness said: “I saw the defendant leaning against the wall. He was bent over. I reached out, I pulled his arm and asked him what he was doing in her room. He was groaning.

“I pulled his arm to get him out of her room.

“I don’t know if he was sick. I don’t know why he was groaning. I can’t explain why he was making that noise but that’s what he was doing.”

She told the court a row broke out among the family, which turned physical, and that the defendant tried to get in the middle to calm the dispute.

The witness added: “Any man should know not to go into a little girl’s room.”

She also described an incident on September 23, 2016, where the defendant was left at the family home to watch over the girl and her cousin.

The witness said it was the only time that he had been left to watch over the child.

She added: “I didn’t know what harm was going to be done that night. I trusted him.”

Elizabeth Christopher, for the defendant, questioned the witness about what the defendant had said when confronted in the bedroom.

The witness said she remembered him saying something about being sick and the defendant said he was either going to the bathroom or needed to use the bathroom.

But she denied a suggestion that the defendant was holding his stomach, or that there was a trash can near the door of the girl’s room.

The grandmother agreed that it was “mayhem” in the house that morning.

The court also heard evidence from a doctor, who the court ordered should not be identified, who examined the girl several days after the incident on November 1, 2017.

She told the jury she found no evidence of tearing or bruising on the girl, but swabs revealed she had a trichomoniasis infection.

The doctor said trichomoniasis is a parasite usually spread through skin-to-skin sexual contact.

Ms Christopher suggested to the doctor that the parasite could survive on toilet seats and other objects for 30 minutes or more.

The doctor agreed, but said: “I’m only aware of survival, not transmission.”

The trial continues.

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