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Man raped step-daughter after she was blackmailed on Facebook, court told

Published 18/10/2016

Alleged attack at their home in Co Antrim followed months of Facebook exchanges with someone who posed as another girl of the same age, a judge was told. The man cannot be named to protect his step-daughter's identity
Alleged attack at their home in Co Antrim followed months of Facebook exchanges with someone who posed as another girl of the same age, a judge was told. The man cannot be named to protect his step-daughter's identity

A man allegedly raped his step-daughter after she was blackmailed over naked photos posted on social media, the High Court heard on Tuesday.

Prosecutors claimed he filmed sexual assaults carried out on a 12-year-old girl coerced into taking and sharing pictures through Facebook.

The alleged attack at their home in Co Antrim followed months of online exchanges with someone who posed as another girl of the same age, a judge was told.

Details emerged as the 33-year-old accused mounted an application for bail.

He faces charges of rape, two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and possessing and distributing indecent images of children between June 1 and October 7.

The man cannot be named to protect his step-daughter's identity.

The court heard that in police interviews she said someone using the name 'Rebecca Antrim' sent her a Facebook friend request just before the summer holidays.

The requesting account was said to contain a single photograph of a girl, taken at distance and with her face obscured.

According to prosecution counsel Conor Maguire described contact which led to the alleged victim being asked for and agreeing to send naked pictures of herself.

It was claimed that 'Rebecca' then used threats to get the girl to take an explicit photo of her step-father as he lay sleeping and exposed on the living room sofa.

Following that incident the accused allegedly examined her phone, saw the messages and told her they would have to send a further photo to ensure her mother was not informed.

Mr Maguire claimed the man then took a naked picture in the girl's bedroom.

She also described a later alleged incident where her step-father recorded her carrying out a sexual act on him, the court heard.

Her mother and siblings were upstairs at the time, the girl said.

On another occasion she claimed the accused raped her on their sofa, telling police how she cried during the incident.

"She said he was filming this activity," Mr Maguire added.

The defendant denied the allegations when he was arrested and questioned earlier this month.

He admitted seeing unclothed photos of his step-daughter on her phone after learning of the Facebook friendship with 'Rebecca' and becoming angry, Mrs Justice Keegan was told.

The accused was said to have sent the images to his own phone with the intention of informing the girl's mother.

He also accepted having a large number of sex pictures on his mobile, but claimed to be a member of a website where adult images were exchanged.

"He said he often took pictures of himself and his partner having sex," Mr Maguire continued.

Denying any sexual contact with his step-daughter, the man told police the allegations "disgusted" him.

The court also heard he claimed to use a chat room to identify people sexually drawn to children in a bid to gain their trust and then inform police.

Opposing bail, Mr Maguire contended: "It's the police view that the applicant used blackmail as a means of controlling his step-daughter."

Although defence counsel did not make full submissions, he stressed that the allegations were denied.

Instead, the bail application was adjourned due to issues over a potential address.

Mrs Justice Keegan also requested more information about the role of social services in the case.

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