A Kalgoorlie-Boulder grandfather has been acquitted of nine sexual assault charges relating to his former step-grandchildren after a jury found him not guilty on all charges. The 65-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the children’s identities, was on Friday cleared of seven counts of indecent dealing with a child under 13, one of attempted indecent dealing, and one of sexual penetration of a child under 13. The man was accused of indecently dealing with one of his step-grandchildren three times, attempting to do so a fourth time, and sexually penetrating her when she was six years old in 2000. He was further charged with indecently dealing with a second step-granddaughter four times in one day in 2016 when she was eight. On Tuesday, Kalgoorlie District Court was told the man vehemently denied each of the allegations, with defence lawyer Fiona Hugo telling the jury they might find it “interesting” the allegations were only formally reported after a “bitter break-up” between the man and the girls’ grandmother. On Thursday, Ms Hugo gave her closing address to the jury and reminded them of the “unusual” nature of the charges. “I’m not telling you to disbelieve a six-year-old,” she said. “If a six-year-old gave this evidence, you might think ‘how could a six-year-old make that up? Where would that come from?’. “A six-year-old did not make this complaint. A 26-year-old made this complaint. We don’t know what happened within that 20-year period.” The jury broke to deliberate on Thursday afternoon, and returned their not-guilty verdicts on Friday morning.