Jury find step-dad accused of touching girl not guilty
UPDATE: The man accused of touching his teenage stepdaughter's breasts has been found not guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court today.
The decision was made by a jury.
EARLIER: A Bundaberg man accused of touching his teenage stepdaughter's breasts will have his fate decided by a jury.
The man, who can not be named to protect the identity of his alleged victim, pleaded not guilty yesterday in Bundaberg District Court, to a charge of indecently treating a child under the age of 16.
The 47-year-old man is accused of inappropriately touching the 13-year-old girl during the Easter school holidays last year.
The court was closed while the girl's pre-recorded evidence was played to the jury.
It was the silliest thing I ever ... no, I can't explain it.
But in her opening statement crown prosecutor Shauna Rankine said during the course of the trial, the court would hear how the girl was concerned about visiting her stepfather after an incident took place where he allegedly touched her breasts.
A video of the man's interview with police was played to the jury where he indicated he had been drunk on the night in question.
During the interview the man said the girl had taken off her shirt in front of him when changing into a comfortable shirt for bed.
He told the interviewing officer that his comments had been made as "a laugh. It was a giggle".
The defendant said the girl had been having trouble at school with people bullying her because she had large breasts.
The man conceded that his hand may have been on her breasts over the blanket when he was tucking her in.
But other allegations suggested he touched her breasts when her shirt was off.
"It was the silliest thing I ever ... no, I can't explain it," he told the officer.
When asked how much he had to drink that night, the man told the officer: "Too much".
During his summing up, the man's barrister told the jury there were inconsistencies in the girl's story.
These included details about what she had been wearing, how many times she was touched and where her mother had been at the time.
But prosecutor Ms Rankine said the girl was an unsophisticated witness and that her evidence was consistent with an account from a child of her age.
The trial had not concluded by the time the NewsMail went to print last night.