Man did jail for similar sex offence, jury told

Last updated 13:44 26/02/2014

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A Southland man who denies a sex charge in the High Court at Invercargill has spent time in prison for similar offending in the past, a jury has been told.

Nicholas Bevan Harvey, 22, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection in July 2012.

The Crown alleges Harvey went into the lounge of an Invercargill house when the complainant was asleep and knelt beside her and touched her private parts.

Harvey denies the sexual violation ever took place.

On day two of his trial yesterday, the jury heard that Harvey had been sentenced in 2010 to one year and 10 months' jail after admitting a sexual violation offence against a different female.

When answering questions about the most recent allegation, he agreed he was in the same house as the complainant for a brief time on the day in question but said he never entered the lounge when she was asleep and never approached or touched her.

Another man who was with Harvey in the house at the time told the jury the only time Harvey was not with him was when he went to a room to get some gear.

The man said he never saw Harvey go into the lounge and interfere with the complainant.

The man said he saw the complainant later in the day and she appeared to be "fine".

"Nothing seemed to be out of character."

Defence lawyer Roger Eagles, in his opening address yesterday, said alleged sexual offences often happened in secret.

This case was different because other adults were in the house at the time of the alleged offending, Mr Eagles said.

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- The Southland Times

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