Warwick man faces child rape charges
TWENTY-FIVE child abuse charges have been laid against a Warwick man facing a hearing in Warwick District Court.
The 37-year-old has pleaded not guilty to all charges, which include 11 counts of rape, as well as indecent treatment of a child under 12.
Crown Prosecutor Michael Gawrych said the offences were committed against four alleged victims, three young girls and one boy, who were aged between six and 13 at the time of the alleged abuse.
Mr Gawrych said the man was in an on-again, off-again relationship with the mother of one of the young girls.
The court heard that on one occasion the man she saw as a father-figure and called “Dad” drove both her and her cousin to a park.
Mr Gawrych said that after pulling the car over, the man is alleged to have abused both girls and threatened to leave them in the park if they didn’t comply. “You’ll hear that he touched her lots and that’s over and above the specific acts and occasions she can recall,” he said.
A jury of three men and nine women have been empanelled to deliver a verdict. They were told of allegations the man also offered money and threatened to hurt family members to keep the abuse a secret.
The Crown alleges the abuse occurred between 2003 and 2013 in Warwick and surrounding areas in cars, a caravan and bedrooms.
Mr Gawrych said the Crown alleges that on some occasions, the children witnessed each other being abused.
Police officers and parents of the alleged victims will give evidence during the proceedings.
The defence team did not give an opening statement.