A young girl was victim to her stepfathers abuse. Here her mother who did not want to be identified told the Star of her families trauma over the last five years. Picture: Mujahid Safodien 22 05 2012

Durban - More than 21 years after the first crime took place, a Durban man stood in the dock of the city’s high court on Monday, charged with the indecent assault and rape of his former stepdaughters.

The indictment states that the man, who cannot be named to protect the victims’ identities, is charged with indecent assault, rape and for allowing the children access to pornographic material.

He was married to the girls’ mother from 1991 until 2000 when they divorced.

In 2010, he was arrested when he returned to SA from England. He has pleaded guilty to some but not all the indecent assault charges, but has pleaded not guilty to the rape charge.

The indictment says the man first indecently assaulted the children when they were seven and eight.

The seven-year-old was assaulted between 1991 and 1999 and raped in 1998.

Her sister was indecently assaulted from 1994 to 1996.

The man apparently also drilled a hole in the bathroom of one of the homes the family lived in, so he could watch the girls when they bathed.

The victims testified in camera on Monday and also sat in court with their relatives to listen to their former step-father’s testimony.

He admitted he had touched the girls on their private parts but claimed it had been once or twice a week and not every day. The incidents took place only on a few occasions when he put the girls to bed and when one of the victims accompanied him to the shop, he said.

The incidents started with him giving the girls “back scratches” but later escalated.

However, he denied the rape charge and said it had never happened.

The case continues on Tuesday. - The Mercury