A woman has given evidence a decade-long abuse by her stepfather.
A woman has given evidence a decade-long abuse by her stepfather.

Man used a dog to molest his daughter, court told

A CHILD who kept a horrible secret of alleged abuse has taken a stand against her accused tormentor a decade later.

The complainant child, now aged in her 20s, gave evidence in a closed session of Cairns District Court and alleged her stepfather sexually abused her from the age of six until she was 17.

The Crown has alleged over 20 counts of sexual abuse and rape occurred in seven different houses including southern Cairns and the Tablelands.

"To an outsider her life would have appeared perfectly ordinary," crown prosecutor Nicole Friedewald told a Cairns District Court jury.

"She lived at home, she attended school with her friends; but she had a secret which she kept - she was being sexually abused by her stepfather."

In one shocking alleged incident, the man molested the child who was younger than 12, with the family dog.

The court heard the defendant, now 48, was allegedly "a violent man".

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and stands trial before Judge Tracy Fantin.

"He was violent to her, he was manipulative, he told her not to tell anyone," Ms Friedewald said.

"She was scared she would get into trouble; he was able to maintain her silence."

The court heard the family moved to the Tablelands when the girl was 15.

Craig Eberhardt, defending, said if the allegations occurred, "they were pretty awful".

"But, that 'if' is what this is all about," Mr Eberhardt said.

"Things are not always what they seem - play close attention to her conduct to her stepfather as observed by others."

The trial continues.