A man who is accused of sexually abusing his babysitters says he was having a consensual affair with one of them.
The defendant, who has interim name suppression, is on trial in the Invercargill District Court facing two charges of doing an indecent act on a young person, two of indecent assault and one of rape.
Crown prosecutor Mary-Jane Thomas said in 2019, the man hired the girls to babysit from about 3.30am until morning while he and his wife were working.
The first girl said the defendant was fine to begin with, but later became “touchy-feely”, as Thomas described it.
The complainant said she would sleep next to the baby’s crib and noticed the defendant would come home two or three times a shift.
She would wake up and notice the man standing in the room watching her.
On occasion, she would wake to him attempting to remove her clothing, and other times he would be touching her, the complainant said.
The man would also force her to perform sexual acts on him despite her protests, she said.
The Crown said in order to protect herself, she would stay awake and have another girl babysit with her.
Later, that girl would babysit alone, and she also told police the man molested her.
The defendant would give the girls alcohol and cigarettes, Thomas said.
“If you had 16-year-old babysitters, would you want to give them a shot of something?” she asked the jury.
Counsel Hugo Young said there was a consensual relationship between the first complainant and the defendant, but he never touched the second girl.
“The defence says that there was a lot of sexual contact between [complainant one] and the defendant ... just not while [she] was asleep,” he said.
“They had what you might call an affair, but all sexual contact they did have was consensual.”
Judge Duncan Harvey is presiding over the trial, which is expected to take at least three days.