Jury clears man of sexually assaulting 13-year-old niece
A MARYBOROUGH man accused of sexually molesting his 13-year-old niece has been found not guilty by a jury.
The verdict came after three days of evidence before Maryborough District Court.
The court heard testimony from several witnesses during the trial, with the girl's father, two girls who shared a bedroom with her and a guidance counsellor from her school giving evidence.
A tape was also played of a phone conversation recorded by police between the girl and her uncle.
The girl's guidance counsellor told the court the girl told her that her uncle had tried to touch her inappropriately while he was touching himself.
She told the guidance counsellor the incident happened while they were watching a movie with his children.
During his testimony before the court, the father said he confronted the uncle, who cannot be named for legal reasons, over the allegations.
He said his daughter told him her uncle had "brushed up against her leg".
The father said his brother told him he had been changing his son's nappy when the incident happened and he had not touched her intentionally.
The court heard testimony via video recording of two girls who shared a bedroom with the alleged victim.
Both the girls said the girl, who was 13 at the time of the alleged abuse, had told them she was going to tell a "big lie" about the uncle touching her in a "rude" way.
In her closing statement, defence barrister Simone Bain said the girl had wanted to get out of her father's house because she had conflict with her dad and his partner and that was why she made the accusation against her uncle.
Ms Bain said the girl had been desperate to get out of the "dysfunctional" home.