Girl, 12, ‘drugged’ as stepfather violated her
A 12-year-old girl videoed by her stepfather sleeping while he raped and violated her with household objects and food was probably drugged, a pharmacologist has told a court.
The young girl, who can be heard snoring and breathing in a laboured manner during her stepfather's assaults, "was most probably under the influence of a sedative drug", the court heard.
The court has been told that the drug was Travacalm and that the accused allegedly crushed it up and put it in his wife's wine and Diet Coke.
The evidence was recounted by Judge Paul Conlon as he summed up the case in the trial of a salesman charged with drugging the girl and her mother so he could assault the teenager.
The jury retired at lunchtime on Friday to consider its verdict on 32 charges against the accused man.
Judge Conlon said forensic pharmacologist Dr John Farrar had concluded that "the young person" he watched in four of the videos was behaving in a way "consistent with sedation".
"Mr Farrar was ... an expert witness. He viewed videos of [the girl] asleep," Judge Conlon said.
Dr Farrar had also considered the circumstantial evidence of the mother's symptoms of dry mouth and tiredness, the white flakes in her drinking glass, the bitter taste of her drinks.
He had also been told about a small measuring cup and a meat tenderiser with traces of Travacalm which caused sedation and "amnesic" effects.
Dr Farrar said the mother's symptoms over two years when she was allegedly drugged - of dry mouth, tiredness and forgetfulness - were "almost a description of the effects of Travacalm".
The accused stepfather has pleaded not guilty to 22 counts of allegedly drugging the girl and not guilty to five counts of allegedly drugging the girl's mother, his former wife.
He has also pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexually assaulting a younger stepdaughter when she was aged 11, and not guilty to as further three charges.
Judge Conlon said the stepfather argued that the mother was tired because she worked too hard and had seven children to care for.
"He claimed [the stepdaughter] wasn't tired because she was drugged. She was tired because she was up late at night."
The stepfather gave evidence that he had to wait until late at night to go to the girl's room to sexually assault her from when she was in seventh grade.
The accused also said it was the stepdaughter who had been drugging her own mother.
"He submitted the motive for [the stepdaughter] to administer ... the substance was so he and she could carry on their sexual relationship and not be detected."
In videos taken during the second half of the more than four years of sexual abuse of the girl, the girl can be seen to do things such as put her finger in her mouth.
The accused argued that this showed that the relationship was consensual between himself at the age of about 40.
But Judge Conlon said it was the Crown case that the videos showed "this 40-year-old man with an obvious sexual obsession with this young girl".
"The Crown submissions are ... when you view these videos you would conclude what these videos show is that when the accused's grooming of the child is complete she had accepted this behaviour as routine."
The crown alleged that the accused had drugged his wife so he could have "uninterrupted and undetected" sex with the woman's daughter.
When the sexual assaults were revealed in January 2014, Judge Conlon said the mother took aside her second oldest daughter and asked if the stepfather had "hurt" her.
The girl said he had, on two occasions when she was aged 11, touched her buttocks and then her nipple when she had been reading in bed.
The girl gave evidence to the court during the trial that she had written her mother and stepfather a note saying she didn't like the touching and didn't want it to re-occcur.
Judge Conlon said the girl told the court that her stepfather found the note and told her "don't tell Mum because she will take it the wrong way".
She had then said, "I didn't know what he meant by that but I didn't tell Mum because of them getting divorced or something."
In cross-examination, the stepfather argued that there was no note and that he had never molested the child.
Judge Conlon said the stepfather had said to the girl, "You have taken your kind, caring Dad who reads to you and make up stories and add a sinister twist?"
The girl had replied, "I didn't add a sinister twist. That's what happened."
Stepfather: "You said you wouldn't expect him, a person like that to do it. Why did you say that?"
The girl had answered, "Because he was the only father figure in my life at that moment."