A married couple have been found guilty of sexually abusing a child.
A married couple have been found guilty of sexually abusing a child.

Verdict for couple over child sexual abuse charges

A MARRIED couple have been found guilty of sexually abusing an underage teenager over a three-year period in the Northern Rivers.

After almost two days of deliberating, a jury on Friday found the pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, both guilty of maintaining a sexual relationship with a child between late 1989 to early 1991 in East Lismore, Murwillumbah and other locations.

The 61-year-old man and the 54-year-old woman were also found guilty of six counts each on having sexual intercourse with person aged 10 years or over and under 16 years.

However, the Department of Public Prosecutions will not be proceeding with those 12 charges following the guilty verdict of the primary charges against the couple.

The first sexual intercourse with the child began when the complainant was 13 and they were babysitting at the couple's East Lismore home in late 1989.

While giving evidence during the trial, the complainant told the court they had woken up to the sounds of the couple arguing in their bedroom while sleeping at the couple's house.

The victim said they had "frozen" when the man had tried to convince the child to return to his bed with him and his wife.

A few days later, the couple had sexual intercourse with the child for the first time following an event known as Pub to Scrub boat race in Eltham, after the woman discussed with the complainant "sexual things".

The couple then returned to their home with the child where they proceeded to watch a pornographic movie together, before all three of them took a bath.

The trio further discussed the possibility of performing sexual activities, which the complainant complied.

The couple then continued to perform sexual acts on and with the child while in the presence of each other and separately between late 1989 to early 1991 at their homes in East Lismore and Murwillumbah and other locations.

The pair were both granted conditional bail and will be sentenced in the Lismore District Court on June 24.



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