Man assaults 11-year-old neighbour

A SOUTH Grafton retiree has admitted indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl as her father and siblings watched television in the same room.

The 67-year-old man - who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim - lived next door to the victim's father.

The victim stayed at her father's house intermittently and had known the defendant for three months at the time of the assaults.

The offences took place at the defendant's house in July last year, after he had taken his wife and the victim's father and siblings to play golf at a nearby golf course.

On their return, the victim and her family went next door to the defendant's house for dinner.

The girl was indecently assaulted when they all sat down in the lounge room to watch television.

According to police, the defendant was sitting on a chair beside the victim's brother, while the victim's father and sisters sat on the ground in front of them.

The defendant asked the 11-year-old to sit on his lap, to which she agreed. However, once on his lap, he made the girl feel uncomfortable by rubbing her stomach and pubic area over her clothes.

She asked him what he was doing, to which he replied: “Rubbing your tummy”.

The victim then chose to sit on the ground with the others, but reluctantly agreed when asked to sit on the defendant's lap again.

This time the defendant whispered a number of sexually suggestive comments into her ear, causing her to become frightened.

When she told him he was scaring her, he said: “I wouldn't do anything to make you scared.”

At the same time he shook his hand over her pubic area on top of her clothes. The girl began to cry and told her father she wanted to go home.

Her father immediately left with the children. Soon after they arrived home the victim revealed to her father what had happened and police were called.

The defendant was arrested at his home on July 29.

Despite initially denying the allegations, the defendant pleaded guilty in Grafton Local Court last week to two charges of aggravated indecent assault of a victim under the age of 16 years.

The 67-year-old will be sentenced in Grafton Local Court on June 15.

He lived next door to the victim's father.

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