A man accused of sexual assaults denied knowing his accusers yet had contacted two of them on Facebook, a court has heard.
Ishtiaq Khaliq is one of eight men on trial at Sheffield Crown Court. They deny 19 charges, including rape and indecent assault, relating to three complainants. The alleged offences took place between 1999 and 2003.
Michelle Colborne QC questioned Khaliq last week. He denied he was the “Ishy” that complainants referred to, saying he knew at least ten people called Ishy in Rotherham.
Colborne said all three complainants had accurately described Khaliq’s haircut at the time of the alleged offences.
All said Khaliq had a girlfriend with the same name as his long term partner. And one complainant knew the correct names of two of his sisters.
Khaliq denies one count of rape and three of indecent assault. He told the court the allegations were “false”.
The court heard that Khaliq had previous convictions, including a theft conviction for an offence against a 13 year old girl. Khaliq said he had stopped offending in 2005.
Khaliq told the court that he did not associate with the other defendants. Colborne said two complainants described Khaliq and co-defendant Masoued Malik as good friends.
Defendant Waleed Ali, who denies one count of rape and one of indecent assault against one girl, also gave evidence. Ali had previously said the only co-defendants he knew were Ishtiaq Khaliq and Masoued Malik.
He admitted under questioning that he knew co-defendants Asif Ali and Sageer Hussain in 2003.
Ali said the complainant had made up the allegations.
The court had heard that the alleged victim’s mother called Ali on her daughter’s mobile phone and that he told her, “I’ve not done owt”.
Ali claimed the girl had got his number from posters advertising his boxing fights. He also claimed he celebrated the girl’s 18th birthday with her family. The complainant denies this.
Malik told the court last week that he had sex with one complainant twice in 2003. He denies rape, conspiracy to commit indecent assault and false imprisonment.
Sageer Hussain, who has been described as the “key” defendant in the case, and Mohammed Whied will not be giving evidence.
The case continues.