A Dunedin man allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl while his wife was in hospital giving birth, a court has heard.
Murray Oscar Kannewischer, 85, is on trial in the Dunedin District Court, where he has pleaded not guilty to 23 sexual assault charges against six girls over a 20-year period.
The allegations span 1963 to 1983, Crown prosecutor Craig Power said.
He told the jury many of the assaults happened when Kannewischer had been drinking.
The first complainant to give evidence said night-time was ''pretty scary'' when she was about 8 years old.
''I'd be scared he would come into the bedroom where I was sleeping,'' she said.
''I'd be asleep and I'd wake up and his face would be right at me, real close to me. He'd be kneeling down beside me but then he'd put his hand under the blankets,'' she said.
''I was absolutely terrified because I didn't actually know what he was doing. I had my eyes closed.
''He smelled strange to me as a child but later on I realised it was alcohol.''
The witness could not remember how many times it happened.
Defence counsel John Westgate said she had added new details to her story since she was interviewed by police.
He suggested there had been no abuse.
"You're wrong. It happened," the woman said.
She told the jury that after Kannewischer had violated her, he told her not to tell anybody.
And for many years she did not.
"Why not?" Power asked.
"I was too scared," she said.
Another complainant said Kannewischer would enter her room late at night and fondle her "quite roughly" on a regular basis.
"It seemed to go on forever," the woman said. "He'd come in and I'd have the blanket up over my head pretending to be asleep, basically holding my breath and hoping it wasn't me."
The prosecutor told the jury one of the other complainants would give evidence she was raped in 1966 when Kannewischer's wife was in hospital giving birth.
The defendant told someone the abuse was helping her "become a woman", Power said.
Kannewischer's wife died in 2012.
After that, one of the women came forward with her allegations and the others followed, the court heard.
Westgate said the claims of abuse were simply untrue.
"You'll be driven to the conclusion the evidence is vague, it's unreliable, it's contradictory and it's illogical," he told the jury.
"You have to decide this case on the evidence, not on emotions, not on preconceived ideas."
The trial, before Judge Michael Crosbie and a jury of seven women and five men, is scheduled to last seven days.