Rape trial: Woman 'drunk, loose as'

By Court Reporter

The jury in the trial of three Wanganui men in the Whanganui District Court heard yesterday that the complainant went home with a friend after she said she was raped at a party, and had sex with him on his mother's porch.

On day two of the trial, Roger Crowley, one of the three defence lawyers, suggested to the complainant during his cross examination that there was an overwhelming body of evidence that pointed to her being "munted", "very drunk", and so drunk she was "falling over and could not control herself".

Mr Crowley is the lawyer for Francis John Haami Potaka, 25, who has pleaded not guilty to rape, three counts of indecent assault, sexual violation and perverting the course of justice.

The incident is alleged to have happened at a birthday party in Wanganui in January 2011.

In his continued cross examination of the complainant, Mr Crowley told her that her friends had been interviewed by the Wanganui police and in their statements said she "sat on people's knees, kissed them, pashed them", and then accused his client of indecently assaulting and raping her.

"Whatever happened that night resulted in you later regretting you made a poor decision because you regretted it in the morning."

The complainant, is giving her evidence from behind a screen, replied that Mr Crowley was making it seem as if "it was drunken teenage sex".

Mr Crowley told her that the person she left the party with early that morning said she was "grossly intoxicated, drunk as, loose as, and trying to get it on with everyone", and was "drinking the disgusting home brew".

The complainant had taken two 1.5 litres of her uncle's home brew to the party.

In his cross examination, Mark Bullock, the lawyer for Michael Ron Te Weri, 20, who has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, sexual violation and perverting the course of justice, challenged the complainant on the different accounts that she had given the police and during her evidence in chief. He suggested she was now trying to reconstruct what she said as best she could, because at the time (of the incident) she was intoxicated.

She replied that it was "the way I remember it now ... it is what I recall".

Mr Bullock told her that his client had said she initiated the sexual contact, and she "was enjoying it", to which she replied "incorrect".

In her police statement, the complainant said "Potaka had gently grabbed my waist and sat me on his lap," but on Monday she told the jury in her evidence in chief that "he forcefully made me sit on his knee".

Stephen Ross, the lawyer for Jesse Akuhata Ngataierua, 19, who has pleaded not guilty to indecent assault, asked the complainant if it was difficult for her to recount an entire night and to get it right.

He then asked her about having sex with the friend after the party, and if she had told her friends.

"You knew that was going to create trouble for you?"

"Yes I did."

When asked if her friends would hold it against her, she replied: "I had consensual sex with him".

She said she went home with him because she was "very upset and he was trying to comfort me".

"When you got to his house you were outside and essentially you slept together?"

"Very difficult thing to explain because my head was so far gone. I would do absolutely anything to numb out what happened."

The trial before Judge David Cameron continues today.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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