Sex coercion alleged with covert recording

A Dunedin man allegedly used a secret sex video of a woman he met online to force her into further acts, a court has heard.

The 39-year-old defendant is on trial at the Dunedin District Court accused of three counts of sexual conduct with consent induced by threats, two of assaulting a female and one of attempted sexual violation.

He pleaded guilty to making an intimate visual recording at the outset of yesterday’s hearing before a jury of seven men and five women.

The pair matched on dating app Tinder in May last year and met for coffee within a few days.

The complainant, in a police interview played for the jury, said the defendant "seemed like a really nice friendly guy".

His style of communication by phone, however, was "a bit intense", she said, referring to his repeated calls and attempts to arrange another meeting.

On May 25, they spoke by video chat and things became sexual.

The two conducted an intimate exchange for 49 minutes but unbeknown to the complainant the man was recording the footage using a special app.

Counsel Anne Stevens QC said her client later admitted the recording and reassured the woman that it would be used solely for his own pleasure.

The complainant, though, told police the recording was held over her and ultimately used as a form of blackmail.

"You’re going to be a good girl and do exactly what I tell you," the defendant allegedly said.

If she did not, he would send the lewd video to her friends, boss and workmates, he allegedly told her.

After incessant "badgering", the court heard, she agreed to go to the man’s home on May 29.

"I felt scared and trapped," she said.

She pulled over on the way and sent the address to a friend in case "anyone’s looking for a body".

She arrived at the house at 7.30pm and said the next seven hours were a strange mix of friendly conversation, watching movies and sexual assaults.

Repeatedly, she said, the defendant raised the existence of the video and told her she needed to do as she was told to ensure it was deleted.

The man allegedly told her he had been on dating websites for 10 years and complained about the women he had met.

"This paranoia would always pop up," she said.

The defendant, it is alleged, told her several times she should be more careful on social media and that he was teaching her a lesson.

She was lucky she had erred with a nice guy like him, he allegedly said.

The complainant said the first sex crime took place in the kitchen after much persuasion and threats regarding the broadcast of the video.

"Then he would go back to being a funny, chatty, goofy person — it was really up and down," she told police.

Over the following hours the defendant allegedly forced the woman to submit to further sex acts and when she did not comply, slapped her in the face.

The complainant said she worried if she lashed out he would hurt her.

"I wasn’t physically fighting him because I just wanted it to be over and I wanted to go home and forget that it’d ever happened," she said.

"Either he’s thought a lot about this or he’s done this before ... It was like a game."

After the man allegedly dragged her by the hair to his bedroom to force her into further indignities, she was allowed to leave.

Mrs Stevens told the jury the communications between the two after that evening were "amiable and friendly".

She said the complainant had made it abundantly clear she wanted to have sex with the defendant and that no persuasion was required.

Judge Kevin Phillips suppressed the man’s name until the end of the trial, which is scheduled to last four days.

rob.kidd@odt.co.nz

 

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