Girl grabbed me by belt: accused

AN ACCUSED child molester has turned the tables on his alleged victim, claiming she tried to pull him into a car by his belt.

Bracknell's Adrian John Pryer, 50, has pleaded not guilty to one count of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under 17.

Crown prosecutor Peter Sherriff has accused Mr Pryer of six specific instances of sexual abuse against a girl aged about 12 in the late 1980s in Launceston. 

Yesterday in Launceston's Supreme Court Mr Pryer took to the witness stand.

Mr Pryer said he'd met the girl several times, including at his parents' West Launceston home, but never molested her.

On one occasion Mr Pryer, who was then about 24, and a friend drove the girl and her school friend to an abandoned home near Duck Reach. 

Mr Pryer told the jury that inside the home his friend and the alleged victim walked into a room and she shut the door behind her. 

He said he did not know what they were doing and went to the car.

The alleged victim told the court on Monday that Mr Pryer had sex with her in the house.

Another time Mr Pryer and his mates were doing ``blockies'' when he said the girl came running out onto the road demanding a ride.

When the car broke down everybody got out except the girl who asked Mr Pryer to get in. 

``She actually grabbed me by the belt and tried to rip me in the car,'' he said. 

Mr Pryer said he didn't get into the car, but another man did and he assumed they had sex.

The alleged victim told the jury that she was coerced into having sex with several men on that occasion. 

At one point Justice Robert Pearce interrupted proceedings to ask Mr Pryer if he'd known the girl was 12.

``I had no idea she was under-age,'' he said.

Mr Sherriff asked Mr Pryer why he hadn't inquired what his friend was doing with the girl in the abandoned house. 

``None of my business what was going on in there. He closed the door, that's enough for me,'' Mr Pryer said. 

In his closing statement defence counsel Evan Hughes urged the jury to look past the ``stark'' subject matter and decide the case on the evidence.

Mr Hughes said his client had given a methodical ``matter of fact'' account about events. 

He emphasised apparent inconsistencies between the girl's evidence and what her friend told the jury. 

``Their evidence is irreconcilable, completely contradictory,'' he said.

Mr Sherriff spent his closing reminding the jury that the events had taken place two decades ago and less than perfect recall by the girl was reasonable. 

``(She) was giving evidence to you about what happened to her as a child,'' he said.

She wasn't cross-examined about it until 24 years later, he said.

Justice Pearce will begin summing up the trial for the jury today. 

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