Verdict to be handed down to accused rapist
A JURY will retire today to consider its verdict in the case of a man accused of raping his seven-year-old stepdaughter.
The young girl told police her mother's boyfriend had raped her on her bedroom floor when her mother was out with friends and it happened "all the time".
The mother of the girl took the stand yesterday and told the jury she had found her then-partner asleep in bed with her daughter early one morning.
She said her daughter said "mummy, please help me".
When interviewed by police, the man denied ever being alone with the girl or in her bed.
He told police that two other men had abused the girl and he had "bashed the s***" out of one of them.
During his closing argument in the Warwick District Court yesterday, barrister Robbie Davies told the court allegations the man abused the girl arose from a custody battle between his client and the girl's mother.
Mr Davies told the court the girl's mother reneged on an agreement to allow the man to have custody of another child of hers, of which the man is the biological father, for the weekend.
When the woman refused to allow the man to take his daughter as agreed, he and his family members stormed her home at midnight on a Saturday night and took the child.
The distraught woman called police but officers were unable to intervene, as no court orders were in place.
Two days later the woman and her mother took the seven-year-old girl to the man's house to retrieve the younger child.
A fight erupted, and the two women left without the younger child.
Later that afternoon the little girl's grandmother took her to the police station and made the complaint of sexual abuse.
When giving evidence in court yesterday, the grandmother told the court her granddaughter had confided in her about the abuse.
She initially said the conversation with her granddaughter had taken place a month before she spoke to police but later said it was a couple of days earlier.
Mr Davies asked her about the day the fight erupted over the custody battle and accused the woman of threatening to have the man charged with rape as she left his home.
She denied saying that.
The man has pleaded not guilty to one count of rape and is free on bail until a verdict is reached.
The eight-man, four woman jury is expected to deliver its verdict today.
Rape is one of the most serious offences in Queensland and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.