Trigger warning: this article contains graphic and distressing details of child sex abuse, rape and violence.
The Sydney Morning Herald has reported one of the most horrifying cases of sexual, physical, emotional and mental abuse ever heard in court.
From the age of five, a mother and a father viciously abused their daughter, all the while covering it with their ambitions of helping her become an Olympian.
The crimes were recounted for the first time in Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court, after 14 years of their abuse being kept secret. The father was on trial for 73 child sex offences, and the mother with 16 different charges.
The father, a former athlete, raped his daughter for the first time when the mother was giving birth to another child. The girl was just five.
Over that same year, the father continued sexually and physically abusing her in a shed near the family home.
For nights on end, the girl would be tied and left in the shed, and when she grew older, she would be locked inside a tiny box. During these periods, she was left unfed and forced to miss school. When her siblings asked where she was, the father would lie saying she was at a friend's house.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the court documents outline that the daughter grew up desperately wanting to please her father, particularly on "special days".
One "special day" was Father's Day, and after bringing him breakfast in bed, the father forced her to perform sexual acts on him.
The abuse continued to become more savage as the girl competed in national sporting events, most often when she did not perform at the standard her father desired.
The shed became a house of horrors, where she was raped and mutilated with tools. By the age of 14, the father became worried she would fall pregnant and so began dropping medicine balls 60 times on her stomach. He told his other children that it was one of her new training techniques.