The trial of a Hawke's Bay man accused of historical sexual offending dating back more than four decades has begun in Napier today.
The man, who cannot be named, is standing trial in the Napier District Court this week after pleading not guilty to 11 sex charges that allege sexual abuse against his daughter and niece.
The alleged offending was said to have occurred in both Auckland and Hawke's Bay between the early 1970s and 80s.
In her opening address Crown prosecutor Jo Rielly told the jury of seven males and five females the daughter's account was that the defendant started molesting her as a young child, often telling her to go to her bedroom while other adults weren't around.
"She said he would tell her to be quiet and never to tell anyone, especially not mum."
The prosecutor said he would perform sexual acts on her on a regular basis, usually at bedtime, and that these acts progressed to what she would later learn was sexual intercourse.
"She would pick a spot on the ceiling and look at it while this was happening until it finished," Rielly said.
The accused pleaded not guilty to rape, attempted rape, four charges of indecency with a girl aged between 12 and 16 and five charges of indecency with a girl aged under 12. Most of the charges are representative.
The niece would tell the court she was also molested by the defendant when visiting his home, often on occasions when other adults had left the house to play housie, Rielly said.
"What she remembers is that he would come into her bedroom... and while she was sleeping he'd come and kneel down on his knees next to her bed.
"She remembers waking to him pulling the covers off him and putting his hand down the front her pants and underwear...she said she would lie still with her eyes closed because she was frightened."
In his opening address, the man's defence lawyer Bill Calver told the jurors the charges were historical, the oldest charge dating back 46 years ago, and asked that they wait until they had heard all of the evidence before making up their minds.
"The defence in this case is quite simple; [the defendant] is not a child molester. He didn't interfere with his daughter, he did not interfere with his niece and by the way he did not attempt to interfere with his granddaughter."
The court was told the jury would hear from the defendant's granddaughter, one of the complainant's daughters, as a propensity witness in support of the Crown's case.
The trial is set down for the remainder of the week with the Crown set to call five witnesses.