A 14-year-old girl lured into her elderly neighbour's home under the guise of picking up fresh vegetables for her family was sexually accosted as soon as she entered the premises, a Wollongong court has heard.
Her alleged attacker, an 89-year-old widower, stands accused of trying to rape the girl during the brief encounter, which is alleged to have occurred sometime between January 2017 and May 2018.
Documents tendered to Wollongong Local Court this week reveal the girl's family had lived next to the man for six years and he supplied them with fresh fruit and vegetables every fortnight.
In an interview with child abuse squad detectives earlier this month, the girl said she was playing in her backyard one day when she saw the man standing on his balcony.
He allegedly beckoned her to come over to his house, and, thinking he was going to give her some fresh vegetables, she went.
She entered through the back door, finding herself in the living room. She told police the man tried to hug her as soon as she walked in before allegedly putting his hands on her hips and pulling her underwear down.
He allegedly then pulled his own underpants down and tried to sexually assault her.
The girl bent bent down, pulled her pants up and ran out of the house.
She returned home but didn't tell anyone what had happened and said she never went into the man's house again.
The man was arrested on June 17 and charged with assault with intent to have sexual intercourse with a child.
Police opposed his release on bail in court the following day, claiming he had "preyed on the [victim's] vulnerability".
"The accused has taken the complainant away from her home and the safety of her parents and committed a serious offence," they said.
However, he was granted strict conditional bail provided he agree not to return to his home, given the girl and her family still lived next door.
He was ordered to stay at a hotel north of Wollongong and abide by a nighttime curfew.
However, the man was arrested again last Sunday after he was twice seen in the backyard of his home at the weekend in breach of his bail conditions.
His bail was reinstated when he appeared in court on Monday via video link from Parklea jail.
The case will return to court on Wednesday.