Defendant in rape trial is a child abuser

The Orthodox Jewish man accused of leading the gang rape of his teenage daughter is a convicted paedophile, who was found guilty in April of sexual offences against his two young stepdaughters.

The revelation came at Wood Green Crown Court, where the man is being tried for various sexual offences against his daughter, including rape and conspiracy to rape.

Prosecution lawyer Richard Merz said that the man, who is 45 and from north-west London, had “on a number of occasions, in the family home, touched their [the stepdaughters’] breasts in a sexual manner”. His stepdaughters were aged nine and 13 at the time.

Hearing the news, the jury asked the judge to check that the defendant had been found guilty and queried why the information had only now been disclosed.

They also questioned why the defendant had been given bail, and was not in prison.

The lawyer for the defence, Jonathan Goldberg, compared the current case to the Salem witch trials. He said the allegations against the defendant were “a witch’s crucible”.

He told the court that the girl’s psychologist and her rabbi friend and mentor were “stirring the pot”. He said the girl had recently confessed to her cousins that the allegations were false, but that to backtrack now would cause her to lose face.

The court heard that in her first police interview, the girl, who cannot be identified, said she had invented the allegations because “he has hurt my mum, he left her and he is a bad father”.

The defendant said his daughter had “created and built a tremendous hatred” against him because he could not provide the money for her to live like her “multi-millionaire” friends.

The trial continues.

Last updated: 12:47pm, July 12 2013