Teen faces young girl rape charge

A COURT was today due to hear evidence from a girl who claims that she was raped and indecently assaulted by a Suffolk teenager.Martin Richardson, 19, of The Street, Rushmere St Andrew, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday where he denied one charge of raping a girl under the age of 16.

A COURT was today due to hear evidence from a girl who claims that she was raped and indecently assaulted by a Suffolk teenager.

Martin Richardson, 19, of The Street, Rushmere St Andrew, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday where he denied one charge of raping a girl under the age of 16.

The rape is alleged to have taken place between January 1, 2002 and February 27, 2003.

Richardson has also pleaded not guilty to six offences of indecently assaulting the same girl between May 8, 2000 and February 27, 2003.

Prosecutor Nicholas Wilcox, said: "She (the young girl) spoke to a teacher at her school and police became involved. She complained that she had been sexually abused by the defendant."

The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will not be present in court today but the jury will be shown an hour-and-a-half video clip of her being interviewed.

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While the court are watching this, she will be in another room of the court building and will then be cross-examined via a video link by Mr Wilcox and Richardson's solicitor Stephen Harvey.

The jury of seven men and five women were told that one of the girl's friends is also due to appear as a witness as she claims she had been told what happened.

Mr Wilcox added that Richardson had been arrested in February 2003 but returned to a police station in early March 2003.

Mr Wilcox said: "He came back because he wanted to say something. He said he would rather say what happened than let it go any further."

In Richardson's subsequent interview with the police he claimed the girl "instigated" one incident that happened in November 2002 but he denied raping or indecently assaulting her.

The trial continues today and is expected to last until the early part of next week.

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