"IN OUR community we really treat each other as if we are really,really close friends," the 10-year-old girl explained to the policeofficer.
The girl was talking about her religious community, the Exclusive Brethren.
And she was explaining how she came to stay with a man who digitally raped and repeatedly indecently assaulted her sister.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was yesterday foundguilty in the District Court of four counts of indecent assault and acharge of sexual intercourse with a child under 10.
Judge Helen Murrell told the Downing Centre jury he was convictedlast year of sexual offences against the girl's sister. She refused tocontinue his bail, pending his sentencing in January.
The judge also refused an application for the entire proceedings of the trial to be suppressed.
"It is through the publication of such matters that the communityunderstands the extent and nature of child sexual abuse in thecommunity … and can serve to encourage other victims to come forward,"she said. The girl said she had trusted the man. "I thought he wasreally nice."
He had touched her under her dress while she was sitting in a car, despite his children being present, she told police.
Another time he had touched her while his wife was in the same room.He had put her hand on his penis, while hugging her sister on the bunkbed above her. "He got my hand. He does it in a sly way. And he getsyou and he does it, though he's really nice. I was taken by it," shesaid. "You are lovable," he had told her but had insisted they keepwhat had happened between them.
After the assaults, when she had returned home, she no longer likedgoing to church, even though that was where she met all her friends.
"It freaked me out, and I hated seeing him."
The man's lawyer, Paul Byrne, SC, argued that the offences were sobrazen they were unlikely, and the jury should not believe the girl.