Man cleared of rape allegation

A STEPFATHER accused of raping his stepdaughter has been found not guilty after a jury was satisfied the girl and her mother made the story up to get back at him.

The 51-year-old man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded not guilty at Ipswich District Court to rape and indecent treatment of a child under 12 in his care.

The mother of the child and stepfather broke up after a long-term relationship in February 2010 and the man started dating a younger woman.

The jury was told in August 2010 the mother and daughter went to the new girlfriend's house in Brassall and said they "were going to the police to have (the man) charged with rape … we're going to get back at him because he's a dog".

The court was told the pair was laughing and the mother yelled "there's a pedophile living in your street".

The mother phoned police that day and said she had seen the man touching her daughter on the leg in the bathroom years ago.

When told that wasn't an offence, the mother said she'd bring her daughter in for an interview at a later date.

A week later the girl, now aged 15, told police she had been raped at least twice by her stepfather when she was aged six or seven.

The man's defence barrister Peter Sloan said the alleged victim told an acquaintance she "had to go to court … mum asked me to lie for her to say (the stepfather) raped me so he could get locked up".

When the acquaintance asked why she would do that, the alleged victim said "he's a dog … don't tell anyone what I've told you".

The offences were alleged to have occurred in Redbank Plains and Leichhardt between 2002 and 2007 when the girl was about five to 10 years old.

A jury of six men and six women acquitted the man.

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