Child witness ‘digs deep’

2012-12-05 00:00

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl had one question for murder accused Gerald Rosselloty yesterday, after answering his questions for more than three hours.

She wanted to know why he had raped her when she was six years old.

“I’d like you to tell [the rape victim] that it seems as if she’s almost believing what she is saying, but she’s mistaken. I did not do what she says I did to her,” Rosselloty told intermediary Wilma Wiid.

He in turn had a message for the child, which he read to her.

He told her always to try to do her best in everything, that she was the “most wonderful child” and that he loved her.

The girl did not respond.

At times cuddling a soft toy tiger, at others nibbling snacks and fidgeting with her hair, or holding her head in her hands, the child was questioned via a video link from another room, with three intervals.

The court adjourned once when she became upset and on other occasions after she indicated that she was tired and hungry.

Close to 1 pm, the girl burst out: “Can I just come back tomorrow? I don’t want to be here any more.”

At that stage, Rosselloty indicated to Judge Rishi Seegobin and assessors that he had “two more pages” of questions for the girl.

The judge explained to the child that the court hoped to complete her testimony so that she would not have to return to the witness stand again, and in response to Wiid’s urgings to “dig deep”, she agreed to carry on.

The child was among numerous witnesses who have been recalled by Rosselloty for further questioning, after he fired his lawyer in February, but she was the witness for whom he had the most questions.

Rosselloty put detailed questions to the child about the contents of three statements she made to police in connection with the rape incident, which allegedly occurred at his simplex in Hilton when she spent a weekend in his care in September 2006.

When it was suggested to her that her versions in the statements differed, she replied that to her they were the same. “Maybe not 100% the same ... maybe I changed the words,” she said.

The child told the court that what she’d said was the truth, and said that Rosselloty had raped her on his bed.

Asked by the judge how she’d felt when it happened, she replied: “I was scared and terrified. I screamed.”

She said Rosselloty’s friend, “Uncle Graham”, came running in and started “fighting with Gerald”.

“I said I needed the toilet and Uncle Graham carried me to the bathroom.Then he went back to the room, and they started fighting and talking.”

The girl said she’d “crawled” back from the bathroom to the bedroom to get her clothes. “I was in so much pain and so much shock. My legs were a little bit weak and I couldn’t walk,” she said.

On numerous occasions, when asked about the events that occurred subsequently at Rosselloty’s mother’s flat and a neighbouring flat where she waited for her mother, she said she could not remember.

“I was waiting for my mother to help me,” she replied when asked why she had not told anyone about the rape at that stage.

The first time she’d told anyone about the rape was a few days later in hospital, she said.

The case is proceeding.


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