Alleged child rape victim's honesty questioned

JURORS in the trial of a man charged with the oral rape of a six-year-old girl were told yesterday to base their verdict entirely on the girl's testimony.

In his closing statement, crown prosecutor Matthew Hynes said in the District Court in Mackay that as the girl was the only witness to the alleged rape, the case rested on her accusations.

He said she was a reliable witness and her testimony that in 2003, the then-partner of her mother molested her when she was home alone and sick, was true.

During cross- examination the day prior, defence barrister Bronwyn Hartigan had suggested the girl's parents had lied by saying the girl had told them about the alleged rape when she was six.

Ms Hartigan said in fact they weren't told about the incident until 2013, just before it was reported to police.

She said that was supported by the fact that the girl did not recall telling her parents when she took the stand.

In his closing statement yesterday, Mr Hynes suggested the jury might consider it reasonable that a girl would remember being molested, but not the conservation that followed, as it was not as memorable an event.

In her closing statement, Ms Hartigan said the girl's testimony had been unreliable.

She said her story had changed between producing the police statement, speaking in court the week prior and speaking in the stand this week.

Ms Hartigan said the girl said in the police statement she couldn't remember if she'd been home sick, or if the incident had taken place on a weekend.

She said the story had changed on the witness stand, when the girl said she had definitely been home sick.

Ms Hartigan said the girl invented facts and embellished the story on the witness stand, and was an unreliable witness.

She also suggested the girl's parents had colluded to create a story about being told about the incident in 2003, as they wanted to protect their daughter and bolster her case.

The jury is expected to resume deliberations today at 9am.


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