Launceston jury finds stepfather guilty of rape, not guilty of indecent assault

A Launceston man cried in court as a jury found him guilty of raping his 18-year-old stepdaughter.

The 31-year-old was on trial in the Launceston Supreme Court, accused of having sex with the victim while she was drunk in his bed in 2013.

He was also accused of indecently assaulting her some months before the rape, by touching her on the vagina during a massage. 

However, the jury unanimously voted him not guilty of that act.

The woman gave evidence throughout the trial, telling the jury she had been out drinking with her stepdad before she woke up in his bed, which he shared with her mother.

She cried in the witness stand, describing the moment she realised he was on top of her, having sex with her.

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The man denied the allegations against him from the very beginning, claiming his stepdaughter was drunk and was in his bed to prevent her from choking on her own vomit.

He told the court he was still dating the victim’s mother and treated the victim like his own daughter, stating the allegations were “preposterous”. 

On Wednesday, the jury took more than two hours to reach its verdict with one juror discharged in the process.

It was not unanimous, but the majority decided the man had raped his stepdaughter.

The man wiped tears from his face and held his head in his hands.

Justice Michael Brett remanded him in custody to reappear for sentencing next month.