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A man jailed for persistent child sex abuse was told he couldn’t marry a 12-year-old girl he was interested in because he wasn’t an Australian citizen, a court has heard.


The man, 27, wanted to marry the girl and sought advice from sheikhs at his mosque.

“(The sheikh) said to me it was illegal because you are not citizen in Australia,” he said.

“He didn’t tell me it was illegal to have sex with her.”

The man was giving evidence in the trial of the girl’s father, who is charged with procuring a child aged under 14 for unlawful sexual activity and being an accessory before the fact to a serious indictable offence.

After spotting the girl at a mosque the man asked her father, 63, for her number and began pursuing her, with the father’s permission, the Sydney District Court heard on Tuesday.

The man said the father had consented, on the condition his daughter agreed.

The pair were “married” last year in an Islamic ceremony at the caravan park where her father lived.

After the wedding, the 27-year-old sexually assaulted the girl on numerous occasions between January 11 and February 5 last year.

He said he married the girl after she pushed him to seek consent from her father, who also can’t be named.

“If you love me, you have to fight for me,” he said she told him.

The man said he had never discussed sex with the girl or her father, but that her father did pass her phone number to him.

He also said the father phoned his daughter to inform her there was a man interested in marriage, despite the father’s defence lawyer questioning whether the call happened.

While giving evidence the man was directed by Judge Deborah Sweeney to answer a question about his sex life with the girl, which he said he couldn’t due to his religion.

The court heard the girl agreed to become engaged during the pair’s first meeting.

“It was mutual. We both wanted to know each other,” the man said.

Earlier in the trial it was alleged that on the wedding day, the father instructed the girl that neither she nor her partner were allowed to use contraception.

On the first weekend after the wedding, the court heard the father hosted the couple at his home where he allegedly arranged a marital bed.

The following morning, he asked his daughter if she needed to shower before prayers, in line with Islamic practice after sexual intercourse, the court heard.

The trial continues.


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