ACT News


'Anticipating the worst' was torture, says alleged child abuse victim

A woman has spoken of the torture of "anticipating the worst" whenever she was alone with her alleged molester, a former high school janitor. 

Lazo Djenadija, 75, took to the witness box on the second day of his ACT Supreme Court trial, denying accusations that he indecently assaulted two sisters in Canberra in the 1980s

The sisters, then aged between nine and 12, regularly went to his home and were in his care. 

The younger sister was allegedly abused on a bed at the home on two occasions, when Djenadija is accused of rubbing himself on her and making her touch his penis. 

Her evidence continued in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday morning, and she was asked about the times she was left alone with her alleged abuser. 

She said the occasions when nothing happened were possibly worse. 


"Anticipating the worst and it never happening was torture," she said. 

The older sister was allegedly abused by the janitor when he took her to Melrose High School after hours. 

He is alleged to have indecently assaulted her as she sat on gym mats in a storage room. 

She began giving evidence on Wednesday morning, speaking of the cruel practical jokes he would play on the pair. 

One time, she said, Djenadija tricked her younger sister into believing adult laxatives were chocolates. 

"He would sit there with me and laugh every time she had to go to the toilet," she said. 

Djenadija has pleaded not guilty to four charges. 

He gave evidence on Wednesday afternoon, denying the allegations levelled against him. 

Earlier on Wednesday, defense barrister Richard Thomas accused the younger sister of lying and saying Djenadija had never touched her inappropriately.

He questioned her about other people who were at the home - Djenadija's partner and daughter - and how the acts could possibly have occurred while they were there.

She responded: "It was a couple of minutes.

"It took a couple of minutes to do what he did to me."

The trial continues on Thursday before Chief Justice Helen Murrell.