CONVICTED: Jury finds man guilty of nine child sex charges at Warwick District Court.
CONVICTED: Jury finds man guilty of nine child sex charges at Warwick District Court.

Trusted family member convicted of abusing girl, 9

A SOUTHERN Downs girl was nine when a man her family trusted began a sexually exploitative relationship with her.

Related to the girl by marriage, the 51-year-old was convicted on Tuesday for nine child sex charges at the Warwick District Court.

The jury found the man guilty of rape, indecent treatment of a child under 12 and maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said the ongoing unlawful relationship lasted for 12-14 months, starting in about June 2014.

"Encompassing grooming efforts through which he sought to establish a sexual and emotional connection," Mr Cook said.

The prosecutor said manipulation was used to force acts upon her. The court heard the man lured the girl to secluded spots in both her home and his.

On multiple occasions, he took her to a room that was separated from the rest of his home and shut and locked the door.

Mr Cook said the victim reported after carrying out the abuse, he would tell her not to tell anyone because it was "their secret".

Over the course of the seven-day trial, the jury heard from seven witnesses including the victim's mother, father and the man's wife.

The court heard they were unaware of the abuse while it was occurring.

The young girl reported that the man waited until there was no one else around and manipulated situations so they were alone.

The man faced 12 charges but the jury was unable to return a verdict on three of the charges.

Judge Dennis Lynch discharged the jury from proceedings after he concluded a verdict could not be reached through further deliberation.

The man is scheduled to reappear in the Ipswich District Court today, where it is expected he will be sentenced for the matters on which he was convicted.


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