Girl ‘so naive she didn’t know she was raped’

A naive young girl who did not know what the word “rape” meant because of her sheltered religious upbringing was sexually abused by the “monster of her living nightmare”, a court heard this week.

At a retrial following an initial hearing in October, the now-adult woman claimed she was repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped by Menachem Mendel Levy, 41, when she was aged between 14 and 21.

Mr Levy has pleaded not guilty.

Mr David Markham, prosecuting, said the girl had described, “two men called Mendy Levy”. On one level, he was a family friend, who helped her with her homework. On another, he was a monster.

He said the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was naïve and did not understand what was happening to her.

“She lacked the knowledge, vocabulary and worldliness of girls outside her community,” he added. “This is not a case of a woman scorned.”

He described the abuse as “a nuanced and subtle overpowering of a child by an adult”.

Mr Levy, a married father of six, claimed the sexual contact was part of an extramarital affair and took place when the girl was over the age of 16.

He said: “It was obvious she was consenting because of what she was doing.” He added: “She wanted it, she encouraged it.”

The retrial was ordered after the original jury failed to reach a verdict. Since the first trial, the young woman has claimed there were earlier sexual assaults when she was as young as 13.

Tania Griffiths, defending, said that by changing her testimony, the alleged victim had been “caught red-handed in a lie”, having previously said that an indecent assault when she 14 was a “one off”.

Summing up, Judge James Patrick told the jury: “A person who has undergone sexual assault or rape has experienced trauma — everyone has their own way of reacting.”

Last updated: 5:31pm, May 30 2013