Man denies raping disabled teen

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 22/07/2014

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A Taranaki man raped an intellectually handicapped teenager, taking advantage of her when her mother was in hospital, the Crown told a jury in the New Plymouth District Court yesterday.

Steven John Selby, 39, has denied two counts of rape, two of sexual violation and three of indecent assault against the teenaged girl on February 4 last year.

In opening the Crown case, prosecutor Justin Marinovich said Selby took advantage of the girl who was staying at her aunty's home while her mother was in hospital.

The aunty, who was supporting the mother at the hospital, contacted the girl that night to say she would have to stay on at the hospital with the girl's mother.

"The Crown says the defendant took advantage of the intellectually disabled 17-year-old for his own gratification," Marinovich said.

Selby was aged 38 at the time.

While having sex with the girl, Selby had threatened her to keep quiet or she would get hurt.

For Selby, defence counsel Patrick Mooney told the jury it was a sad and unfortunate case.

Both Selby and the girl had some intellectual disability. Selby did have sex with the girl but it was consensual, Mooney said.

Because she regretted the consensual sex with Selby she complained of rape, Mooney said.

Giving evidence, the girl's special needs teacher described how the next day, on February 5 last year, the girl attended school but became very upset, not wanting to get in her taxi after school.

The girl was too upset to tell her why she was in such a state, the teacher said.

In a DVD interview that was played to the jury, she said that Selby had dragged her into his room, undressed her and raped her.

As a victim of sexual abuse, the girl has automatic name suppression.

The trial continues today.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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