A SOUTH Coast man has been found guilty of repeatedly indecently assaulting a teenage girl during the 1980s.
Paul John Davies, aged 59, of Malua Bay, was aged in his late 20s when he exposed himself to the girl, asked her to masturbate him and touched her inappropriately on a number of occasions at a house in Mount Hutton, near Newcastle, between 1984 and 1988.
On Friday, Davies, a former teacher, was found guilty of five counts, including two counts of committing an indecent act with a person under the age of 16, two counts of indecent assault and inciting a person under the age of 16 to commit an indecent act after a week-long trial in Newcastle District Court.
Davies shook his head repeatedly as the foreman read out the guilty verdicts. The jury acquitted Davies of a sixth count, a charge of indecently assaulting a person under the age of 16, that the prosecution had alleged occurred in a backyard pool in 1988.
Davies was prosecuted under lapsed legislation that was relevant at the time of the offences and will therefore face a lesser maximum penalty when he is sentenced later in the year.
Crown prosecutor John Stanhope did not apply to have Davies detained until his sentence hearing in Sydney Downing Centre District Court in November. Judge Philip Mahony continued bail, but included a condition that he report to Batemans Bay police station once a week.
Mr Stanhope told the jury that between 1984 and 1988, Davies repeatedly indecently assaulted the girl, exposed himself or touched her inappropriately, but the allegations were not reported to the police until 2017.
During those 30 or so years, Davies finished studying and moved to the South Coast where he worked as a teacher.
"Put simply, the issue in this trial for you to determine is whether you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the complainant is both honest and accurate in her description of events that she says took place between her and the accused," Mr Stanhope said.
Davies's defence barrister, Peter Harper, told the jury his client denied the allegations and attempted to use a story about a "wet dream" to explain one of the incidents.
"This is the crunch," Mr Harper told the jury during his opening address.
"The accused absolutely denies each and every one of the charges before you."
But ultimately the jury was left with no doubt that the victim was telling the truth about most of what happened in the 1980s, deliberating for a little over three hours before finding him guilty of five of the six counts.