A Sydney cult leader could not have made advances on two 12-year-olds because Eastern Suburbs girls "know how to say no", his lawyer said yesterday.
Harland Koops said girls were taught in school what's right and wrong.
Mr Koops was defending Kenneth Emmanuel Dyers, co-founder of the the Kenja cult, who faces 22 sex charges over the alleged aggravated sexual and indecent assault of two 12-year-old girls.
"I would submit that 13-year-old girls from the Eastern Suburbs know what's right and wrong in terms of approaches from an 80-year-old man who engages in conduct of that kind," Mr Koops told Sutherland Local Court.
"It's impossible. They do know how to say no, they get educated in school."
Mr Koops told the court Dyers had faced a 10-year court battle over similar charges, but they had been quashed.
"He was acquitted on everything," he told the court.
He compared the allegations to America's Salem witchcraft trials in 1692, adding: "The more bizarre the allegations, the more some people want to believe them."
Dyers was granted conditional bail.
He faces 17 aggravated indecent assault charges and one count of aggravated sexual assault in relation to the first girl. He also faces four aggravated indecent assault charges in relation to the other girl.
The alleged offences happened at Kenja's offices in Surry Hills, in inner-Sydney, between December 2001 and July 2002.
He also is required to report to police once a week and will forfeit $50,000 if he breaches those conditions.
The WWII veteran told reporters outside court that he had been set up.
"This is a frame-up, no question. [It's] another attempt to destroy me, myself and Kenja. There have been lots of attempts, this is another one," he said.
The court was told Dyers' health was poor and he suffered from several conditions including emphysema and back and heart problems.
Mr Koops also said his client had had erectile dysfunction for the past 15 years and the allegations against him were implausible.
"These complainants are lying because they refer to Mr Dyers having an erection for 15 minutes," he said.