A man who has accused a NSW magistrate of sexually assaulting him when he was a teenager did not recall specific details of the abuse until he had a "vision" as an adult, a jury has heard.
Graeme Bryan Curran, 68, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to indecently assaulting the boy nine times between 1981 and 1983, when he was aged between 13 and 15.
Defence barrister Phillip Boulten SC told the court on Tuesday the complainant provided statements to police in 2014 and 2015 that detailed alleged abuse by Curran during a three-day sailing trip.
In the 2015 statement, the complainant said he couldn't recall everything that happened during the trip, noting "there is something else there, I have a block," Mr Boulten said.
A day after making the statement, the man said he could recall Curran assaulting him on board the yacht on the first night of the trip.
"He says ... 'it was like a vision, it was very strong' of the accused fellating him," Mr Boulten said.
The complainant could remember "vivid details" including the colour and pattern of the cups they were drinking out of, Mr Boulten added.
Witness for the defence, psychiatrist John Roberts, said it would be unlikely the man would have been able to repress such a traumatic memory for so long.
"If you look to people who have been involved in traumatic events they remember the event," he said.
Dr Roberts said Vietnam veterans and prisoners of war can vividly remember their experiences.
"There is no evidence to say sexual trauma is recollected any different ... we haven't got black boxes (in our minds)."
He said repressed memories "may be truly believed and held in conviction but they are not forensically reliable."
Prosecutor Mark Hobart SC suggested the memories may have been repressed out of embarrassment and shame.
"(The complainant said) it was totally embarrassing, totally shameful and something he doesn't want to think about. He put it to the back of his mind," he said.
"That's a possibility," Dr Roberts said in reply.
The trial continues before Acting Judge Anthony Rafter.
Australian Associated Press