Cape Town - A former Grassy Park police officer has pleaded not guilty to three counts of statutory rape.

Adam Adams, a former constable, appeared in the Mitchells Plain Magistrate’s Court on Friday and denied having sexual intercourse with a teenage girl.

The trial started almost a year after Adams’s arrest, with the first part of Friday’s court proceedings being heard in camera to protect the complainant.

Adams is accused of having sexual intercourse with the girl on three separate occasions - on July 11, August 1 and August 16 in 2013.

According to the State, the girl was 14 at the time.

Adams stood passively in the dock as his lawyer, Shameema Lakay, spoke on his behalf. Lakay said her client denied having had sexual intercourse with the girl.

Putting the charges to Adams, magistrate Nomqondisi Jakuja informed him that if found guilty, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Adams was arrested on September 3 last year by members of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).

At the time, Ipid reported that a friend of the teenager allegedly told the girl’s mother what was going on.

It is alleged that the incidents occurred while the constable was off duty.

Adams is out on a warning, on condition that he stays out of the Tafelsig area and does not contact the complainant.

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Cape Argus