A former advocate has gone on trial accused of historic sex assaults on two Aberdeen boys.
Mark Strachan is accused of touching the private parts of the two brothers at an address in Aberdeen between 1999 and 2001.
Both children, now adults, are understood to have been between 13 and 15 at the time of the alleged incidents.
It is claimed the 64-year-old instructed one boy, aged 13 or 14, to remove his clothing before taking measurements of various parts of his body, including his penis.
The charge also alleges that Strachan, of Leslie, near Insch, then handled the boy’s penis.
Strachan, who worked as a lawyer for an Aberdeen firm at the time, is further accused of an additional charge involving a second boy, then 14 or 15, at two addresses in Aberdeen between August 1999 and March 2001.
Woman claims lawyer Mark Strachan asked boys to take part in ‘study’
It is alleged he indecently assaulted the boy by requesting that he undress before measuring parts of his body and private parts.
In addition, the charge claims that Strachan also handled the second teenager’s penis.
Today, as the trial began at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, a family member of the two boys claimed that in around 1999 Strachan, while acting in his role as the family’s lawyer, asked if the children would like to take part in a study.
She said Strachan told her and the boys’ father about a friend at Aberdeen University who was conducting a study into “watching children grow”.
“He asked their father about it – if he wanted the children to be involved in the study,” she said.
The woman went on to claim that Strachan later visited their home and took the boys into their bedroom to carry out the measurements.
‘I trusted him’
“What I remember is him and the two lads going into the bedroom and I remember the bedroom door being closed,” she said.
Asked by fiscal depute Rebecca Thompson how many times Strachan conducted the study, she replied that it went on “three or four more times”.
Following those occasions, the woman said that the brothers declared that they no longer wanted to take part in the study.
“Did you find it unusual that this man was taking the boys into another room?” Ms Thompson asked the woman.
“No, I trusted him,” she replied.
‘I remember his face’
During cross-examination by Strachan’s defence lawyer, Kris Gilmartin, the woman was quizzed on whether the man she claims took the boys into the bedroom was even his client.
“If I was to suggest to you that if a man took them into the room, it wasn’t Mr Strachan, would I be mistaken?” he asked.
“Mistaken,” she replied. “I remember his face.”
In response to the woman telling the court that Strachan measured the boys at two addresses they had lived at, Mr Gilmartin then produced a police statement the woman had given in which she had stated the former advocate had only visited one of the family’s former addresses.
The trial, before Sheriff Ian Wallace, continues.
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