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81-year-old man denies sex assault on teenage girl

A teenage girl yesterday told Magistrates’ Court that an 81-year-old man who gave her lifts home after school grabbed her buttocks.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, said that she ran into the man while she was out for a stroll and he was walking his dog.

She added that they made small talk before he pulled her in for a hug, told her “I love you” and grabbed her right buttock.

The girl said: “I was shocked – shocked and uncomfortable and I couldn’t believe what happened.”

The man, who also cannot be indentified, denies an allegation that he sexually assaulted the girl, aged 16 at the time, on April 17 last year.

The girl told the court that the defendant lived in her neighbourhood in St George’s and gave her lifts from a bus stop to her home after school for about a year before the alleged incident.

She said that she came across the defendant as she walked with her mother through the Ferry Reach area and was left alone with him after she outpaced her mother.

The girl added: “I stopped to say ’how are you, how’s quarantine going for you?’.

“After that he asked for a hug and then said ’I love you’ and then touched me.”

She said that the man had held her buttocks for a few seconds before she told him that her mother was nearby.

The girl added that she walked back home and told her mother about the incident later that day.

Marc Daniels, for the defence, suggested that his client attempted to keep his dog at bay as he hugged her.

He also suggested that there were inconsistencies between the evidence she gave in court and her earlier statement to police.

Mr Daniels asked her if she had embellished her statement or misconstrued the man’s actions – but she insisted she had not.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe adjourned the case until April 19 and released the defendant on bail.

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.