'Really drunk' claims denied

By Court Reporter

The complainant in a jury trial has denied statements made about her being "really drunk" at the party where she alleges she was raped.

Three men face a number of sex assault charges in the Whanganui District Court before Judge David Cameron.

Crown lawyer Harry Mallalieu asked the complainant if any of what was said about her by the man she had sex with after the alleged rape, was true.

"No," she replied.

Mr Mallalieu read a transcript to the jury from her video interview on January 27, 2011, and a written statement she made to the police in August last year, where she said the accused, Francis John Haami Potaka, 25, ripped her tights, indecently assaulted her, and raped her. Potaka has pleaded not guilty to rape, three counts of indecent assault, sexual violation and perverting the course of justice.

In her statement, the complainant said she was "gently grabbed by my waist ... and it's just like okay", as the man she says was Potaka pulled her on to his lap.

She alleged he then ripped her tights with his left hand as she sat on his knee. She said she was "a little bit freaked out". He then is alleged to have sexually assaulted and raped her as she sat on him.

In her statement she said she was "crying and asked him to stop [touching her] ... I did not know how to react." She said she was not certain how long it went on for and she can't remember how it stopped.

She said Michael Ron Te Weri, 20, was sitting close by and she asked him to get Potaka to stop and to help her.

The jury has heard several accounts of what happened at that time where Potaka, Te Weri and Jesse Akuhata Ngataierua Brider, 19, were seated in a carport around a table where there were a lot of other people.

Te Weri has pleaded not guilty to three counts of indecent assault, sexual violation and perverting the course of justice, and Brider has pleaded not guilty to indecent assault.

The jury heard from a doctor who examined the complainant on January 23, who said she did not find any injury, but that it was not uncommon to find no injuries.

Mr Mallalieu read a statement from associate professor of psychology at Auckland University, Nicola Gavey, who had worked in the area of sexual violence for 25 years. She gave a detailed explanation of post-traumatic symptoms by those who had been raped, and said that having sex after being raped was not at all inconsistent, because victims responded in different ways.

The court was earlier told that the complainant had had sex with another man the same night after the alleged rape.

The jury yesterday heard from three witnesses who were at the party that night. Two of the witnesses were female and had gone to the party with the complainant. Both testified that she had "sculled" a lot of her uncle's home brew spirits as they got ready and then again at the party where she was "loud, all over the place, sat on boys' knees and could not control herself".

The complainant had been staying in the flat of one of the witnesses for "quite a while," as she had nowhere else to stay.

The trial continues today and is expected to finish tomorrow.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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