The trial for a female member of the Air Force accused of indecently assaulting a comrade at a house party after taking MDMA has been postponed part way through.
Judge Kevin Riordan has called a halt to the court martial hearing for Leading Aircraftman Nicole Leger after the prosecution announced it would be appealing against a decision he made this morning on the admissibility of a piece of evidence.
The trial must be set for another date so the appeal process can be carried out first.
The complainant this morning described to the court martial how she felt "really, really uncomfortable" when she woke up from a half doze at the party to find Leger lying on top of her, holding her face and moving as if to kiss her.
Leger's lawyer said her drink may have been spiked and she cannot be held responsible for "the train wreck which followed".
Leger appeared before the court martial in Upper Hutt this morning, where she pleaded not guilty to charges of consuming and offering to supply MDMA, indecent assault, and an alternative charge of assault on her fellow service person.
Leger cried as the charges were read out during the hearing.
Giving evidence, the complainant - who has automatic name suppression - said the incident happened during a party at Leger's flat in Lower Hutt in June last year.
She was sober driving and showed up to the party with her husband and some friends, and was tired and asked Leger if she could lie down and rest in her bedroom.
Leger led her to the room and told the complainant and her husband they could have sex in her bed if they wanted to, the complainant said.
"It was inappropriate, awkward," the complainant said. Her husband left the room.
Leger remained and touched the complainant's shoulders for a while before leaving.
Leger returned to the bedroom two more times during the night, the first time leaning over the bed close enough that the complainant woke to the feeling of Leger's breath on her face, the complainant said.
She felt "upset", particularly when she noticed the bedroom door, which she had left open, was now closed. She commented about Leger being drunk and needing some water, getting up and opening the door. Leger left, and the complainant went back to bed.
The second time the complainant awoke to Leger allegedly lying fully across her body, touching her face, saying "your lips" and moving her face towards her as if she were about to kiss her.
"I thought she was going to try and kiss me or do something to me that was unwanted," she said.
"I pushed Nicole off me ... I said to her if she did that to me again I would f'ing kill her."
She said Leger told her: "I've taken drugs, I've taken MDMA, would you like some?"
The complainant declined. She wanted to leave the party but the other members of the group were not ready to go so she agreed to stay a bit longer.
She described Leger as "acting really sexually towards everybody", lifting up her dress and telling people "I'll do what you want me to do".
She tried to help Leger and get her a drink of water, but said Leger began trying to hug her, at which point the complainant insisted to her group of friends it was time to leave
Defence lawyer Michael Bott said "Hell" had been "unleashed and inflicted" on his client, who was a possible victim of drink-spiking.
In an earlier statement, Leger said she had an aversion to drugs and would never have knowingly taken MDMA, however she had a recollection of someone telling her she had just consumed a drink with MDMA in it.
"Ms Leger did not knowingly consume MDMA, therefore she cannot and should not be held criminally responsible for the train wreck which followed," Bott said.
"It does not appear that anyone within the New Zealand Defence Force followed up or investigated Ms Leger's claims that she unwittingly consumed a drink spiked with an illicit substance."
He also said touching someone's face and commenting "those lips" was not behaviour that should be labelled indecent assault, and that it was "drawing too long a bow".
The prosecution has 10 days to file its appeal on the judge's ruling around evidence, and the matter will then go through an appeal process at a higher court before another date can be set for the court martial to resume.