The jury is deliberating in the trial of an Illawarra pensioner accused of opportunistically sexually abusing two young girls over the course of a decade during neighbourhood gatherings.
Kenneth MacDonald, 73, has pleaded not guilty to 12 child sexual assault charges, stemming from 1980 to 1989.
Judge Andrew Haesler sent the jury to decide MacDonald's fate on Monday afternoon following a week's worth of evidence being aired at Wollongong District Court.
Several witnesses took to the stand over the course of the trial, including testimonies from the two complainants and the officer in charge of the investigation.
The first complainant alleged the abuse began when she was aged four and that "almost every interaction" with MacDonald involved him either touching her breasts, back, between her legs, or vagina.
On one occasion, MacDonald allegedly approached the girl from behind while she was wearing a swimsuit and inserted his fingers into her vagina, causing pain.
MacDonald allegedly forced both complainants, who had been asleep in a bedroom during a barbecue, to touch his penis in 1980.
The first complainant disclosed the alleged abuse in 2020, prompting an investigation.
Police approached the second complainant who provided a statement detailing similar alleged indecent assaults, as well as four separate occasions where MacDonald allegedly forced her to perform oral sex in his garage.
In closing submissions, Crown prosecutor Nerissa Keay described one of the alleged assaults was "particularly brazen".
"She (one of the complainants) was sitting at the table with other adults," Ms Keay said of one of the incident in which MacDonald allegedly digitally penetrated the girl.
Ms Keay said both complainants gradually disclosed the incidents to important people in their lives.
"The fact that [the complainants] told people, and the circumstances in which they did, reflects the fact these events really happened and are not made up," Ms Keay told the jury.
After the second complainant disclosed the allegations to police, she on two occasions revisited MacDonald's home with a recording device attached to her without him knowing.
She questioned him about the alleged abuse and he twice denied it. He also later denied the allegations in a police interview following his arrest.
Defence barrister Ben Clark said MacDonald was being truthful during these conversations and that he has persistently rejected the allegations put to him.
"You can be satisfied his interview with police was truthful and what he said in those intercepted conversations was truthful," Mr Clark said.
"His denials have been in place since day one and have remained that way."
Mr Clark added there were reasons the jury would cast doubt over the matter, including disclosures made by the complainant's when they were girls to their parents, which were "supposedly ignored".
The issue for the jury to consider is whether the alleged assaults happened or not.
- If you or someone you know is sexual violence contact the national sexual assault, domestic violence counselling service 24-hour helpline 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.