Man, 84, denies sex crime from 1977

A senior denied allegations that he sexually touched a young boy more than 40 years ago.

The 84-year-old defendant, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was accused of indecently assaulting a child, unlawfully causing the child to commit an indecent act and committing an indecent act in the child’s presence in June 1977.

He maintained in Magistrates’ Court that he had never been alone with the child and suggested his accuser had made up the story to get money from him.

The complainant told the court that in the summer of 1977, when he was still under 14, he stayed at the defendant’s home for several weeks.

He alleged that on one night the defendant told him to undress. He then touched the boy, and had the boy touch him.

The court heard on another occasion that same month the defendant took the boy to the home of one of the defendant’s friends, where he was shown pornography.

On another occasion he said another of the defendant’s friends attempted to sexually assault the boy at the defendant’s home. The complainant said he screamed for help, but the defendant did not come to his aid.

The defendant told the court all of the accusations were lies.

He said: “It’s all made up. It’s all lies because he never stayed with me.”

The senior told the court that he knew the complainant’s family well and would regularly see him at the boy’s family home, but they were never alone together.

He said at the time of the allegations he was working multiple jobs and had very little free time.

The defendant said he was friends with the two people the complainant described, but said he had never taken the boy to the friend’s home or showed him pornography.

He said: “I never took him to his house or anybody’s house. I never showed him any pornography. I will go to my grave saying that.”

The defendant also said he had no explanation for how the boy could have known where his friend lived.

Asked by Maria Sofianos, Crown counsel, why the complainant would make up these accusations about him, the defendant said he believed he wanted money.

Ms Sofianos, in her closing remarks, said the suggestion was “absurd”, and the defendant’s evidence supported elements of the complainant’s story.

She said: “How else would a young boy be able to speak of the friends that the defendant had in the summer of 1977? How else would he know where the defendant’s good friend stayed?

“All of these things support the evidence given by the complainant, who we say has come here with clean hands.”

Ms Sofianos said the complainant reported the crimes in 2017, 40 years after the incidents, but what happened had been “drilled into his memory”.

Bruce Swan, the lawyer for the defendant, said the identity of the defendant’s friends and where they stayed were common knowledge.

And he said there was no evidence to collaborate the allegations against the defendant.

He said: “There are allegations being put before the court out of the blue. It’s these random occurrences being put before the court to just accept.

“The defendant has come before the court. He has not changed his words.

“He has come to court and has been very straightforward about what he said transpired.”

Mr Swan added: “This particular case is one the court should feel unsure about, with doubt in its mind about if these incidents did occur.”

Magistrate Craig Attridge adjourned the matter until November 18, when he will deliver a verdict.

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