A little girl was sexually violated in her bedroom while the abuser’s partner was chatting with the toddler’s mother in the room next door, a court has heard.
The disturbing abuse was filmed by Andrew Alan Williams, who earlier this week pleaded guilty to 56 child sex-act charges against seven victims, including the rape and sexual violations of the 3-year-old girl on several occasions in 2018.
In the background of the video, two women can be heard talking. The Crown case is that the women are Laken Rose and the toddler’s mother, who were sitting in the lounge beside the bedroom.
The 31-year-old Rose has pleaded not guilty to 61 charges of sexual violation, indecently assaulting children under 12, making objectionable publications, possessing objectionable material and inducing young persons to commit indecent acts.
The charges against Rose relate to four girls aged between 3 and 14 at various locations including Palmerston North, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty over a five-year period.
Her defence to many of the charges is that she was compelled by Williams to participate in the abuse.
Laken Rose was employed to train horses as a track rider and is well known in the small circles of the Cambridge equestrian scene.
The mother of the 3-year-old girl abused by Williams gave evidence today at Rose’s trial in the High Court at Hamilton.
She explained how she had struck up a friendship with Rose and the couple would sometimes come over for a cup of tea or coffee at her house.
On one occasion, the young girl wanted to play with Williams with her soft toys and tepee tent inside her bedroom.
They were in there about 20 minutes, said her mother. “Enough time to make and drink a cup of tea.” While this was happening, the woman and Laken talked in the living room adjacent to the child’s bedroom.
The woman heard the toilet flush and walked down the hallway to check. She opened the bathroom door and heard Williams tell her daughter to wash her hands.
He explained to the girl’s mother that the toddler had followed him into the bathroom, which the woman thought was “odd”.
On another occasion, Williams was pushing the girl around on her bike while his partner Laken Rose and the mother were inside.
When the mother went to look for them, she found her daughter sitting on Williams and playing a game on an iPhone. They were in a “blindspot” in the security cameras outside the house, said the woman, where she could only see Williams’ back.
There was another occasion when her daughter was left in Williams’ care, while the woman had a massage with Laken Rose at the mall.
After Laken Rose and Andrew Williams were arrested in May last year on charges of abusing a young girl in the Bay of Plenty, the woman said Laken Rose called her.
“She said she had nothing to do with it,” the woman said.
Under cross-examination by Rose’s defence lawyer Philip Morgan QC, the mother confirmed that Laken Rose told her she was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Williams.
She was also aware that Rose had attempted suicide previously but that the track rider told her that “Andy had saved her”.
The Crown argues that Rose offended with Williams by sexually exposing young people and grooming them for sexual acts to be carried out by Williams, and on occasions together.
While Rose has pleaded guilty to four charges of inducing a young person to commit an indecent act in relation to that person, she has pleaded not guilty to 61 other charges.
Her defence lawyer, Philip Morgan QC, has previously told the court that Rose admitted participating in some of the sexual abuse, but was compelled to do so by her former partner Williams.
In some cases, Morgan said Rose wasn’t present. In relation to sexual violation charges laid in respect of a teenage girl, Morgan said the sexual encounter was consensual.
Rose would argue she was a “reluctant” spectator and compelled to film it. The judge-alone trial in front of Justice Matthew Muir is scheduled to end next week.
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