A trial of a 56-year-old Blenheim man facing three charges of rape, one of inducing a girl under 12 to do an indecent act, one of inducing a girl under 16 to do an indecent act and one of stupefying began yesterday.
At the Blenheim District Court, crown prosecutor Mark O'Donoghue told the jury of eight women and four men that the man, who has interim name suppression, raped the complainant numerous times between August 1998 and August 2001.
She was aged between 10 and 13 when the incidents allegedly took place in Blenheim.
O'Donoghue said that when the assaults first took place, the accused would facilitate his offending by drugging the complainant with sleeping pills and alcohol.
Giving evidence via audio visual link yesterday, the complainant said she had seen the defendant put a tablet, which she believed to be a sleeping pill, into her water before giving it to her.
The court heard that she believed it had been a fluoride tablet at the time, and drank the water which made her fall asleep instantly.
She alleges the defendant then raped her, after finding unexplained pain and bruising to her body the next morning. She was aged 9 or 10 at the time.
She later recognised the bitter taste of the water that night as tasting like gin, she told the court.
The complainant alleges she was regularly raped by the accused over a three-year period, but was not drugged every time.
In cross-examining the complainant, defence lawyer Lester Cordwell, suggested she was lying about the alleged rapes because of an unrelated dispute between the pair.
Details of her evidence had been completely made up in an attempt to make her look more credible, including the fact that she had seen the pill dissolving in the water, he said.
This was a lie, he said, because the sleeping tablets the defendant had access to at the time were insoluble.
The complainant denied she was lying.
When asked why she did not show anyone the bruising and injuries to her body following the alleged incidents, the complainant said she did not know.
The trial was expected to last at least five days, and the complainant was to continue giving evidence this morning.
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