Family allegedly kept sex abuse of sisters secret
CHILDREN guarding a family sex abuse secret were warned they would be separated if they told anyone about what was going on.
This was the claim made by a family member at a trial in Hervey Bay District Court which is hearing allegations of alleged sexual abuse against siblings over a decade.
A trusted uncle is currently facing 25 charges including six counts of rape and 14 counts of indecent treatment of a child.
Police allege the man, now aged in his late 60s, abused his two nieces in the home he shared with the girls, their brother and their grandparents in the late 80s and early 90s.
The court heard the two girls were aged four and five when they were taken with their six-year-old brother from their parents and put into the care of their grandparents.
Their allegedly predatory young uncle lived in the home which family members on Wednesday described as "very violent" and "very hostile".
The court heard the children were punched by their uncle causing injuries like black eyes and bleeding noses and called "filthy little sluts" and "filthy little moles".
Multiple family members described a black belt he would allegedly use to hit the children.
"He would go into the bedroom and flog them," one said.
"It sounded like he was killing them the screams that were coming out of there."
Another adult relative told the court he had walked in on his brother-in-law and young niece on Christmas Day in the 90s.
The child was 11-years-old at the time.
He said he went looking for cigarettes in a bedroom and saw the girl was on top of her uncle with her dress above her head.
The witness said he was in shock and mentioned the incident to his wife and the child's grandfather a few days later.
The same witness said six years prior, he was in the bath when he heard grunting noises "like someone was having sex" coming from the accused man's bedroom across the hall.
He said he had presumed the man was masturbating but shortly after, he saw a child exit the bedroom.
The girls' brother told the court about a time when he was a child in a tent with his two younger sisters and his uncle.
He said his sister was sitting on top of her uncle who allegedly made her unbutton his jeans and play with his genitalia.
During cross examination the defence questioned why the brother had not told the police about the alleged abuse during a police interview to check in on the children in the 90s.
The brother said that before school that day they were warned by their grandmother they would all be separated if they said anything.
One of the girls allegedly told their aunt in 1995 her uncle was touching her inappropriately and having sex with her.
The court heard the woman spoke to police about the incident at the time and cut communication with the family for seven years shortly after.
She said the accused man had treated one of the girls like his girlfriend.
"She was holding hands with him, sitting on his lap, his arm was around her while they were sitting on the couch and she had to be there right beside him all the time," she said.
The husbands of both alleged victims told the court that their wives had confided in them about the abuse, one in 2003 and the other in 2017.
The trial will continue in Hervey Bay District Court tomorrow.