Ex-Ipswich church treasurer Shartiel Nibigira says he is not guilty of child rape.
Ex-Ipswich church treasurer Shartiel Nibigira says he is not guilty of child rape. Troy Kippen

Child rape accusers lying about church leader, court hears

THE two teenagers who claim they were raped and abused by a former church leader should not be believed, a jury has heard.

Defence barrister Frank Martin told Brisbane District Court his client Shartiel Nibigira was innocent of six rape charges and 14 offences of indecent dealing of a child.

Mr Martin said there were multiple inconsistencies in the testimonies of the two girls who were allegedly abused at Ipswich and Brisbane in 2011-2013.

They were aged 8-12 when the assaults are alleged to have happened.

It is alleged Mr Nibigira raped and touched them in cars as he was taking them to and from church and choir events.

The one-time Ipswich and Brisbane Pentecostal church treasurer has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Crown prosecutor Natalia Lima told the court in her closing address that significant time had passed since the alleged offending but that the girls had provided honest and trustworthy testimony during the trial and while being cross-examined.

She said it was normal for children to have inconsistencies in their statements to police and courts but this did not mean they were lying.

The jury is expected to start its deliberations on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Nibigira has limited English and sat with a translator next to him in the dock throughout the trial before Judge Tony Moynihan. - NewsRegional

News Corp Australia


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