A Tasmanian man who repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted his little sister, who eventually fell pregnant with his child, has fronted court decades after the abuse ended.
The brother, who cannot legally be identified, was about 18 when he began sexually abusing his then seven-year-old sister in the late 1960s.
For about seven years, at a number of locations across Tasmania and on a number of separate occasions, he raped her, forced oral sex on her and masturbated over her.
When she was a teenager, she fell pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, who was adopted out.
Her brother, who is now 69, pleaded guilty to maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person in the Launceston Supreme Court on Monday.
Taking the stand, the now 57-year-old victim said her innocence had been taken away from her as a child.
“Before the abuse began, I was a happy little girl,” she told the court.
“Soon after … I started having horrible, frightening nightmares.”
Fighting back tears, she recalled running away from home at a young age to escape her brother.
“I suffered a huge loss of trust,” she cried.
The victim told the court she “relived” the trauma every day and that after the abuse ended, she began to drink heavily and attempted suicide on a number of occasions.
“He did not protect his little sister, he abused me,” she said.
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It was not until she confided in a social worker about the abuse in late 2016 that she found the courage to come forward and report it to the police, the court heard.
Her abuser sat in the dock with his eyes closed, shaking his head for much of his appearance on Monday.
His lawyer, Fran McCracken, said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder having served in Vietnam and did not remember all of his offending.
He was also sexually abused as a child, Mrs McCracken said.
“That kind of conduct was almost normalised for him,” she said.
Since the abuse ended, Mrs McCracken said her client had lived a “crime-free life for more than four decades”.
The man was remanded in custody, with Justice Robert Pearce expected to sentence him on Thursday.
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