'Very confusing’ incident after alleged rape by elite athlete

Hours after allegedly being raped by a former elite athlete, a woman messaged the man and asked him to come over for a hug, a court has heard.

“It was very confusing for me,” the tearful complainant said when cross-examined about the text exchange yesterday.

The man on trial before the Dunedin District Court accused of her rape - a former New Zealand sporting representative - has been granted name suppression until the verdict.

On Monday the complainant told the court the defendant turned up at her house on October 10, 2018.

They kissed and it progressed to sex, without her consent.

“It was happening before I knew it was happening,” she said.

It continued, the woman told the jury, despite her repeatedly asking the man to stop.

She said the defendant gripped her hips so tightly during the incident that she was left with bruises — “four fingers on each hip for over a week.”

Under rigorous cross-examination from defence counsel Anne Stevens QC, the woman accepted she had never photographed the alleged injuries. Nor had she shown them to anyone.

The complainant was taken through a booklet containing hundreds of text messages sent by her to various people.

“Hug me in the morning and I’ll probably cry with happiness,” the woman sent the defendant just hours after he allegedly raped her.

Mrs Stevens suggested there had been episodes of consensual sex after the alleged rape.

While the witness said she could not specifically recall any, she accepted it was possible.

“What I recall is feeling unsafe and kicking him out of me room when he wanted to stay,” the woman said.

The pair had argued in early October 2018 and the lawyer pointed to one specific text.

“You’ll see the mistake you made,” the woman messaged.

Mrs Stevens put it to her that the text was vindictive and foreshadowed the rape complaint which followed soon after.

The woman rejected that inference.

She had never wanted to go to police with the allegation, she said, and it had only come about when she broke down crying in front of a nurse.

That health professional had taken notes during the complainant’s subsequent retelling of events, which included “stalking” by the defendant and forced entry into the woman’s home.

The witness accepted both were untrue but said she was not responsible for what the nurse wrote.

It was another example of lies and exaggeration, Mrs Stevens said.

“I truly wish it was. I truly wish I didn’t have nightmares about it,” the woman said.

Crown prosecutor Robin Bates took the complainant through a text conversation from March 2019 in which she told the man she was going to make a police statement.

“Please don’t,” the defendant said.

“You don’t get to ask that. You’ve ruined all my trust ... this year is a year to do what’s best for me,” she replied.

“But I didn’t act with intent. I’m sorry, I didn’t know I was doing wrong,” he said.

Mrs Stevens focused on further text messages in which she identified a pattern of the woman swearing and abusing the defendant and him apologising.

They portrayed her client as “kind and thoughtful”, she said, “and that’s him to a T, isn’t it?”

The complainant denied that was the case.

“You see him as something evil, don’t you,” Mrs Stevens said.

“Yes, I do,” said the witness.

The woman admitted attending a national sporting event and social function in 2019, knowing the defendant would be in attendance.

Mrs Stevens suggested the complainant was in fact the stalker.

“No,” she said. “I wanted to be with friends. I didn’t want to let things get in the way of me living my life.”

Cross-examination will continue today.

The trial, before Judge Michael Crosbie and a jury of six men and five women, is expected to run throughout the week.




Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter