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Teen developed inappropriate feelings for me - rape accused

A CAGE fighter accused of rape spent another five hours on the stand on Friday in the East London Regional Court, where he was cross-examined on why he had driven a 13-year-old complainant to a secluded area to talk about her personal problems.

Ryan van Niekerk, 28, a South African mixed martial arts champion, has pleaded not guilty to five counts of rape.

Van Niekerk is accused of sexually molesting and raping an East London teenager over a long period.

Magistrate Paul Pretorius asked Van Niekerk why he had not spoken to the alleged victim at her home or simply taken her to a restaurant for a milkshake.

Van Niekerk said he and the complainant could not meet publicly because their conversations were confidential and he was afraid someone would overhear them because he lived in a granny flat built on to the complainant's family home.

The girl accused Van Niekerk of raping her up to six times a day and claimed that the molestation started shortly after her ninth birthday.

According to the teenager the sexual assault progressed over the years. The first time Van Niekerk allegedly touched her private parts was at a race track.

Van Niekerk allegedly made her perform oral sex on him when she turned 11. A year later Van Niekerk allegedly raped her for the first time.

The teenager claimed Van Niekerk had sexually molested her in his vehicle almost every morning before dropping her at school.

During testimony last year the teenager told the court that Van Niekerk had told her that if she did not attend their morning meetings, he would rape one of her school friends and make her watch.

Van Niekerk insisted he and the teenager were like brother and sister and that it was the complainant who had developed "inappropriate" feelings for him. He said as a result he had put a stop to their private chats.

Van Niekerk also claimed he lost everything when the allegations of rape came out. His fiancee of seven years terminated their relationship.

Testimony continues on June 27.

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