Jury finds man, 51, raped stepdaughter

A DISTRICT Court jury has found a 51-year-old-man guilty of maintaining a relationship with a child, indecently dealing with a child and three counts of rape.

During the trial in the Bundaberg District Court the jury heard the man began sexually molesting his stepdaughter in 1991, when she was about seven.

Judge Brendan Butler summed up the case to the 10-woman, two-man jury yesterday before they retired to consider their verdict shortly before noon.

Judge Butler told the jury they needed to consider whether the victim was honest and reliable and urged them not to forget she was only a child when the sexual abuse was alleged to have happened.

"Children aren't just short adults, they're developing both emotionally and psychologically," he said.

The jury took 2½ hours to find the defendant guilty.

The man, who can not be named to protect the victim, will be sentenced today.

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