Two men have been found not guilty of raping a woman in a Napier hotel room in August, 2017.

A jury of nine women and three men retired about 4pm on Wednesday to consider the verdict.

After almost nine hours of deliberations Jason Robert Trembath, 30, and Joshua Craig Pauling, 30, were found not guilty of rape, sexual violation and unlawful sexual connection.



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Trembath previously pleaded guilty to making an intimate visual recording.

Pauling denied being party to it, but was found guilty on that charge.

Pauling's tearful family were embracing in the public gallery after the verdict.

The offending related back to August 14, 2017 where both men were alleged to have slept with a woman who was too intoxicated to give consent.

Jason Trembath, 30, admitted taking and posting an explicit photo to social media. Photo / File.
Jason Trembath, 30, admitted taking and posting an explicit photo to social media. Photo / File.

The Crown said during the trial that Trembath posted an explicit photo to Facebook of Pauling and the woman together shortly after.

Both defence counsels told the jury in their closing arguments that the woman had consented to having sexual relations with both men.

Pauling met the woman via dating app Tinder days before a social event on August 14, 2017, and the pair had consensual sex.


During the celebrations she said she drank about four to five glasses of white wine and then switched to a "blush" which was given to her by Pauling. She had two to three glasses before they both went back to her hotel before midnight.

Upon leaving the event she said her memory became hazy and she told the court she had never experienced mind blanks like it, despite consuming that much alcohol in the past.

In a police interview played to the court, Pauling told a detective he had sex with the woman shortly after arriving, but later told his defence counsel that the woman had only performed a sex act on him.

A series of phone calls were made between Pauling and Trembath before Trembath arrived at the hotel near midnight.

Trembath admitted having sex with the woman, but said it was consensual.

At 12.27am, Trembath posted a photo of Pauling "straddling" the woman to Facebook and also texted it to friends.


Pauling said he did not consent to having the photo taken and said he didn't find out that it had been posted to Facebook until days later.

In the police interview he told the detective that he "laughed it off", but told the court he was both "ashamed" and "embarrassed" about the image.

The woman had texted Pauling asking if anyone else knew about the events of the night before, to which he replied no.

She also questioned him on Trembath's presence at the hotel and said she didn't remember inviting him or how he came to be in her hotel room.

The woman found out about the photo three months later when she was approached by a police officer and said she went into shock upon finding out.

Trembath and Pauling will be sentenced on June 21. Trembath was remanded in custody and Pauling at large.