Accused faces rape charges

Legal (CSA)
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Jorina Maureschat. (March 28, 2024 Thursday). Accused faces rape charges. Sunshine Coast Daily (Queensland).

Ex-Jehovah's Witness figure on trial A former Jehovah's Witness figure will stand trial over 52 allegations, including rape and sexual procurement, after his bail application was refused.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was present in the Maroochydore Magistrates Court as witnesses were cross-examined while the court was closed to the public.

Police allege the man used his position of religious standing within the Jehovah's Witness community to target young men in their late teens to early 20s over a 10-year period.

The man was charged with 54 offences, including 21 counts of rape, 17 of sexual assault, torture and incest, the last of which was alleged to have been against his great-nephew.

After being granted bail, further allegations later came to light which culminated in the 62-year-old being charged with six more offences, including two counts of distributing intimate images, sexual assault and attempting to pervert justice.

Defence barrister Saul Holt contested the charges of incest and torture, arguing the legal definition of incest did not include great-nephews.

He also told the court the psychological trauma did not categorise under the "severe pain and suffering" element of the torture charge.

Magistrate Chris Callaghan discharged the incest and torture charges. Mr Holt also told the court the sexual encounters relating to two of the alleged victims were consensual.

Police prosecutor Bec Lambert said the matter of consent should be left to a jury to decide and that victims were allegedly "fraudulently drawn into" the sexual encounters.

The court heard the man told the alleged victim to speak the affirmation "I am strong, I am calmful, I am confident" in his home office in order to "enhance his energy" and increase his confidence.

It is alleged he first told the alleged victim to say it alone in front of a mirror, then naked in an open closet in the same room as the man, followed by masturbation in front of the man until it ultimately led to penetration.

The alleged rape offences against this alleged victim range across 11 years. Sergeant Lambert told the court the alleged victim was in fear of being ostracised from his religious community if he did not listen to the man.

The court also heard of another alleged victim who asked the man for medical advice.

The man allegedly "took advantage" of the situation and told the alleged victim to insert a cream into his anus, and refused to lend him the cream unless he did so in front of him.Mr Callaghan refused bail and adjourned the matter until September 25.


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