Stephen Robert Carter, 70, has been jailed for six years for historical sex offences against his young stepdaughter.
She described the deep psychological trauma she had lived with as an adult as a result of his controlling and manipulative sexual abuse in the family home.
She explained the difficulty of living under a “burden of secrecy”, unable to tell anyone about what Carter did to her because of the effect it would have on his high standing within the Nelson Jehovah’s Witness congregation.
Carter had admitted seven charges, including representative charges of rape, sodomy, inducing a girl under 12 to do an indecent act, permitting a girl under 12 to do an indecent act on another male, and counts of committing an indecency with an animal, and being party to an indecency with an animal.
The court heard that Carter converted to Christianity about three years after ceasing the sexual abuse, which he initiated under the false pretence of sexual education when his stepdaughter was 10 and 11.
In one of the first instances of “grooming”, Carter showed the victim his semen under a microscope, the court heard.
Later, he made her perform various sex acts on him.
Over time, the abuse escalated, including rape and sodomy.
Carter also took the victim to an associate’s house where she was made to perform sex acts on him, and sometimes on Carter at the same time, the court heard. That associate had been contacted by police and found unfit to plead.
The victim told the court she was 16 before she started to recall incidents of her stepfather’s abuse.
“Remembering was always a very difficult process for me, because I never knew when it would begin.
“Different places that Stephen took me became sudden reminders [of his abuse] as an adult.”
She said she had experienced periods of anxiety, depression and self-doubt.
“It has taken me a long time to stop being over-critical of myself.”
Read more: Man, 70, jailed for historic sex abuse (11/29/2013)