A FATHER and former church youth leader will fight allegations he sexually abused a local girl a number of times since she was 13 years old.
The 39-year-old married man, pleaded not guilty to a string of sexual assault charges at the Port Macquarie Local Court on Thursday, March 22.
He was charged with one count of sexual intercourse with a child aged between 10 and 14; two counts of sexual intercourse with a child between 14 and 16 years of age; and two counts of indecent assault of a child under 16 years.
His case has now been listed for callover at the District Court, Sydney Downing Centre on April 17, where a date for his trial will be decided.
Some of the evidence against the accused includes a police-recorded phone conversation between the victim and accused, transcripts of interviews, text messages and handwritten letters to the accused.
But the accused has denied ever having any sort of physical involvement with the victim.
On August 29, 2012 he went voluntarily to the Port Macquarie police station and denied the allegations before him.
Police said he had admitted to sending text messages of a sexual nature, but said he had done so because he was enjoying the attention of a younger female.
The victim was said first to have met the accused at a church, at which the adult man was heavily involved.
Police alleged the man first assaulted her when she was 13 years old at a social gathering.
A statement of police facts tendered to the court said the accused reportedly had sent the victim sexually explicit text messages for a number of months .
In January 2011, the young girl ceased contact with the accused because she was scared someone would find out.
Later, he would ask reportedly to meet the victim in secret at a particular park in Port Macquarie.
There, allegedly, he assaulted the victim sexually, professing his love for the minor, and elling her he wanted to leave his wife:
“I am getting divorced so I can be with you,” he said, allegedly.
In March, 2012 the girl’s mother found three notebooks with unfinished letters to the accused detailing the alleged offences.
The mother reported this at the Port Macquarie police station.
In June, the victim gave a statement at the station, participating later in a video walk-through of the incident at the park.
Under provisions of a surveillance device warrant, police officers recorded a telephone conversation between the victim and the accused in August 2012, in which the accused allegedly made certain admission to the offences.
At the Port Macquarie police station in August 2012, the accused told officers the allegations against him were false.
Reportedly, he admitted to going to the social gathering where the first alleged offence took place.
However, he denied any assault took place there.
He also denied ever meeting the victim at the park, saying he had never heard of the location, nor had he ever been there.
A magistrate ordered the man’s bail be disposed of.
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