A woman who spoke to a detective about a suspected conman alleged the police officer later turned up at her house uninvited, drank a box of beers, then sexually assaulted her after she let him stay in the spare bedroom.
The woman, who has statutory name suppression, was the first complainant to give evidence against Kevin Stephen Burke in the High Court at Auckland today.
Burke, a detective inspector based in Northland, faces two charges of indecent assault and two of unlawful sexual connection from complaints from two women.
He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
One of the indecent assault charges relates to the first complainant, who was in her 40s – a similar age to Burke – at the time of the alleged offending in 2002.
In giving evidence in front of the jury, the woman said she first met Burke in the course of his duties as a police officer.
She lived alone in her Auckland home at the time and had been introduced to a property developer.
He took her a several trips around the harbour on a launch he purported to own, as well as inviting her to spend Christmas Day with him and his mother.
The supposed developer also tried to talk her into buying properties around town.
After a while, the woman said she "got a bad vibe" and realised he was trying to set her up.
She found out his real name – and he didn't own the boat or property development business.
"I was so angry. I nearly handed over $10,000 or $20,000 to a fraudster. I knew something was wrong, I just didn't know what. "
The woman called the Auckland Central police station and was put through to Kevin Burke, a detective at the time, who was investigating the suspected fraudster.
"[Burke] said I've been looking for him for ages."
She agreed to meet with Burke at the Orewa police station later that day, January 8, 2002, according to her diary entry shown to the jury.
Burke made her feel "comfortable" as she told him about her dealings with the suspected conman.
"The fact that someone believed me felt fantastic. My intuition, my feelings, were not just a figment of my imagination."
The conversation ended with the woman assuming Burke would follow up with the information she gave him. She could not recall telling the detective where she lived.
Crown prosecutor Jo Murdoch asked the complainant when she next heard from Burke.
"The day he came down my driveway," said the woman, a few weeks after their first meeting.
She was wearing gym gear, a t-shirt and lycra tights, and cooking pasta for dinner.
At the time, she was exercising nearly every day and not drinking alcohol.
She said she was in the kitchen when she saw a car pull up in the driveway.
She did not recognise the visitor, who walked around the back of the house, carrying a box and a bottle of wine.
"I thought 'who the hell is that? Oh, it's that cop, Kevin'," she told the jury.
He introduced himself again, so she offered him a seat at the table on the back deck.
She said Burke opened the box, and started drinking the bottles of beers inside.
"I just thought it was bizarre, strange."
The woman said Burke started talking about the investigation into the suspected conman and kept drinking until all the bottles were empty.
Despite this, the woman said Burke remained professional and did not seem intoxicated.
"I didn't think he was drunk, I just thought 'God he can drink'," the woman said.
But concerned about his ability to drive home safely, she said she offered Burke some pasta to eat.
She also said she made up the bed in a spare bedroom so he could sleep.
"If he drives home and hurts someone, I'd feel terrible. I kept thinking 'he's a cop, he can't drive'."
The woman said Burke followed her down the hallway and she pointed out the room where he could stay.
"He looked in and that's where he grabbed me by the shoulders," the woman told the jury.
She alleged Burke took two steps back and lay down on the bed, pulling her on top of him while kissing her face and neck.
"I kept trying to push back. It just happened so quickly. I just thought 'what the hell…how did it get to this'?" she told the jury.
The woman alleged she was pushed to the floor where Burke pinned her arms above her head with one hand, while struggling to take her gym tights off with the other.
Then Burke digitally penetrated her, the woman alleged.
"I remember saying 'Kevin, what are you doing?'…he seemed so angry. Quite aggressive and strong…I'm not weak," the woman said.
The alleged sexual assault went on for several minutes, she said, before Burke pulled her back onto the bed.
Burke seemed to fall asleep, said the woman, so she crept off the bed.
"I just looked at him and thought 'you piece of s***'," the woman said.
She went to her room but was unable to sleep properly.
"It was my house, I didn't have locks on any of the doors, I was worried he would come down into my room."
She dozed off but when she woke up around 7am, she said Burke had gone. So were the wine and beer bottles.
She denied the sexual act was consensual and said she never saw Burke again.
"I just kept thinking this was a nightmare."
She did not tell anyone because he was a police officer.
"Who would believe me?"
In her diary entry for January 17, 2002, the woman wrote: "Dinner with Kevin. Late night. 2 hours sleep."
She came forward to make an official complaint in 2017 after seeing a newspaper story about a sexual complaint against an unnamed police officer.
"I thought 'it'll be bloody Kevin Burke'."
Later, she saw Kevin Burke named as the police officer in question on a website. She contacted the website to offer her support. Following that, she was interviewed by police about her allegations on two occasions.
She denied having any ongoing contact with Burke, such as coffee or dinner, as he said in his interviews with police during the investigation into her allegations.
"He's a total liar," the woman said.
The first complainant has finished her evidence-in-chief and will be cross-examined by Burke's defence lawyer Arthur Fairley when the trial resumes on Wednesday.
In his opening statement to the jury on Monday, Fairley presented a different narrative to the Crown case.
Fairley said his client was invited to the woman's home, the sexual contact was consensual, and the pair met for coffee and dinner – even after the alleged assault.
The trial before Justice Sarah Katz is scheduled to last two weeks.