Child porn: dad in court

2014-05-09 00:00

A FORMER manager at a Christian children’s camp in the mountains of KwaZulu-Natal is on trial on allegations of possessing child pornography and sexual assault of three teenaged girls, including his biological daughter and step-daughter.

The 43-year-old man cannot be named to protect the alleged victims.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Cross-examining the man’s ex-wife, defence advocate Shane Matthews said the accused will deny ever touching any of the alleged victims inappropriately, or that he created or possessed child pornography on his computer.

“He believes this is all part of a scheme,” Matthews said.

The man’s ex-wife — who divorced him for the second time after allegedly finding pornographic images on his computer, including a “seductive” photograph of their half-naked 17-year-old daughter in February 2012 — told regional court magistrate Ashin Singh she’d felt it her duty to report her ex-husband to their employers.

She said she had not confronted him about the images because he wouldn’t admit anything.

She said she’d previously found “similar material” on his computer around May 2011. When she confronted him he told her any number of people had access to the computer.

Those images were “movie clips” of a young girl performing a sex act on a man. That happened whilst they were employed at a guest farm.

They later moved on to the camp where the incidents happened because it was a better job.

Asked by Singh if her discovery of the movie clips didn’t make her afraid for her children’s safety, the woman said it did, but if she expressed concerns she was told she was “paranoid”.

The woman said the three images she found in a folder containing her ex-husband’s “model train pictures”, depicted two young girls engaging in a sexual act, a naked young girl lying down with her buttocks facing a mirror and her daughter, half naked, in a black and red bra with a scarf over her pelvic area.

She immediately contacted the “IT man in Cape Town” and asked him to access the computer remotely. She then reported what she’d found to her boss.

“I called my daughter to the office and asked her if she knew how her picture got on the computer. She said she didn’t know as she’d had the photo saved on her [cell]phone at one time but she’d since deleted it.”

Her daughter told her that she didn’t know her husband like she and her sister did.

“She didn’t elaborate. She just said they knew things I didn’t,” she testified.

Under cross-examination however, the woman said both her daughters had told her the accused had touched them inappropriately.

She could not remember if they’d “walked in” on her whilst she was viewing the images on the computer as stated in her police statement, or whether she had confronted her eldest daughter alone “before lunch or before supper” with a print-out of the photograph she’d found of her.

She also initially told the court that she had never before suspected her husband of “fiddling” with her daughters.

But when shown her police statement in which she said she had previously seen him behave inappropriately and reprimanded him, she said it did happen.

“I did see him put his hand on their breasts and said to him, ‘Hey, be careful where you put your hands,’ or something,” she said.

The woman also agreed that when she divorced her previous husband she had referred to him as a “porn addict”.

Matthews said the accused will testify that his computer — on which the allegedly pornographic images were found — was made up of parts from two computers, one of which had belonged to her previous husband.

He handed the court eight photographs and a series of 36 “thumb nails” which were images extracted by a police expert from the computer that was seized when the accused was arrested.

The woman said the image of her daughter, which she testified about, was not among them, and neither was that of the two girls engaging in sex.

She said she could not explain why that was so.

Asked how the accused had behaved towards their daughters during their marriage, the woman said he was “affectionate” and often hugged them. She saw nothing wrong with that, she said.

The case was adjourned to May 21.

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