A UNIVERSITY lecturer and his family were at home watching a film in their underwear with an 11-year-old friend of his daughter's before he later preyed on the young girl, a court has heard. They had all taken off their clothes allegedly because the lounge room was hot from the wood burning in the open fireplace.
The academic, 52, who cannot be named, appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with four counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16, four counts of committing an indecent act on a child under 16, and four counts of indecent assault.
A family friend, 17, told the court via videolink from Germany during a committal hearing for the academic that she had been staying at his home on the outskirts of Melbourne on the night of Saturday, May 21, 2011, when they decided to watch Rio: The Movie, an American computer-animated film.
The friend said the academic, his wife, their two children and his daughter's friend all watched the movie together wearing only their underwear and T-shirts.
Asked if she thought it was strange for everyone to be wearing just their underwear, the family friend said: ''No.''
She told how she was going to bed after the movie when she saw the man walk up the hallway towards the kitchen, followed by his daughter's 11-year-old friend. The family friend said that when she woke up the next day the girl was not upset and appeared to be happy and in a good mood.
But three days later on May 24 when the girl was at school, she told her mother and police she had been interfered with by the man.
The girl's mother told the court she was in ''total distress'' when told what had happened to her daughter. She later warned the girl and her eight-year-old sister that they were to have no further contact with the academic or his family.
''I explained to them that [the academic] had been doing bad things to [the older girl],'' the mother said. ''I might have said that he was hurting her.''
In August 2011, the woman's younger daughter claimed the academic had some months before the move-watching night interfered with her at a municipal swimming pool.
Under cross-examination from the academic's defence lawyer, the mother confirmed she had filed victim compensation claims for both daughters.
Another witness, a schoolgirl friend of the 11-year-old alleged victim, told the court how she went to the academic's daughter's birthday party in March 2011.
The schoolgirl said one thing she found weird was how the academic ''walked around in his underwear a lot''.
She was staying overnight after the party and woke to find the academic lying very close to her friend but she couldn't see him touching her.
The schoolgirl said the alleged victim later told her she had been raped.
''She described it as he touched her in bad places,'' the schoolgirl said.
The hearing will resume on Tuesday.