Church leader accused of raping young girls
A FORMER Queensland church leader repeatedly raped and abused girls from his congregation, a jury has heard.
One-time Ipswich and Brisbane Pentecostal church treasurer Shartiel Nibigira on Monday pleaded not guilty to 18 charges of rape, maintaining a relationship with a child, indecent dealing of children under 12 and indecent dealing of children in his care.
Mr Nibigira is on trial in the Brisbane District Court for offending that is alleged to have involved multiple children aged 8-12 years old.
The Crown alleges the assaults took place between 2011-2013 at Brisbane, Goodna and Redbank Plains.
Some of the offending is alleged to have happened while the 44-year-old was driving the girls home after choir practice.
Mr Nibigira has limited English and sat with a translator next to him in the dock.
The trial before judge Tony Moynihan is expected to run for a number of weeks.