A South Coast man is on trial for the alleged repeated sexual assault of his granddaughter over almost a decade.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty in Bega District Court on Tuesday, March 13, to nine charges, including six of sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 10.
He is also facing two charges of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person aged between 10 and 14, and the indecent assault of person under the age of 10.
The Crown allege the man’s offending started in Merimbula as the family began an interstate holiday from Moruya in 2006.
In her opening address, Crown prosecutor Kate Ratcliffe said the victim, who is now an adult, was just eight years old when the alleged assaults began.
“She [the victim] didn’t know what to do, she just froze,” Ms Ratcliffe told the jury.
Ms Ratcliffe told the court the assaults allegedly occurred while the victim was staying at her grandparents’ home, during family holidays, and at the man’s Moruya workplace over almost a decade.
She alleged the man threatened his granddaughter by saying the assaults were their “little secret”, and if she told her family she would not be believed and would be disowned. She alleged the man would “act normally, like nothing happened” after the assaults.
Ms Ratcliffe told the court the victim had told two school friends about her grandfather’s alleged offending in the past.
She told the jury it was not until another relative discovered a written document outlining the alleged abuse while cleaning the victim’s shed.
The victim later provided a statement to police.
The trial is being presided over by Judge Andrew Haesler and is expected to take one week.