A historic rape trial begins in Bendigo 49 years after the alleged attack.
A New South Wales man is standing trial for the alleged rape of a then 16-year-old girl in Rochester in 1967 after the child conceived as a result of the alleged assault told his birth mother to report the matter to police.
The accused, 69-year-old, John Thomas O’Connell from Moama, New South Wales, has only recently been charged after the son conceived through the alleged rape tracked down his birth mother and convinced her to go to the police, according to the Bendigo Advertiser.
The son was given up for adoption following the alleged rape and had no contact with his birth mother until he contacted her in 2000, according to online reports.
When the pair reunited it’s reported that the mother told her birth son the story of his conception.
Opening remarks in the historical rape trial were heard in Bendigo County Court yesterday.
The Bendigo Advertiser reported the court heard the woman gave birth to her son as a result of the one-time encounter with the accused.
According to reports the alleged victim wasn’t aware she was pregnant until five months later when she underwent a medical assessment while living in a convent.
Initially she denied having sexual intercourse and when nuns took her to police their response was reportedly “negative” and the matter was taken no further.
Defence counsel Michael Pena-Rees said O’Connell’s paternity was not in dispute.
“It is a simple matter of consent,” he reportedly told the jury.
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