A man on trial over the alleged rape of a woman in a Napier hotel room says he "laughed it off" when he saw an explicit photograph of the two of them posted on Facebook.

Joshua Craig Pauling, 30, and Jason Robert Trembath, 30, are on trial in the Napier District Court over the picture and alleged offending that happened on the night it was taken.

Police were made aware of the picture on social media, taken on August 14, and arrested the pair.

They are both accused of rape, sexual violation and unlawful sexual connection.


The charges relate back to August 2017, where the two men have denied raping the woman after a night out, with one of them posting an explicit image on social media.

The crown told the jury that the woman was too intoxicated to give consent.

Trembath has admitted making and being party to an intimate visual recording.

Pauling has denied that charge.

Jason Trembath, pictured running between the wickets, has been jointly charged with rape. Photo / File
Jason Trembath, pictured running between the wickets, has been jointly charged with rape. Photo / File

Pauling also denied any knowledge of having the photo taken and said he didn't know it had been posted on social media until he was notified days later.

In a police interview recorded in December 2017 which was played to the court, he told a police detective that when he found out about the photo, he was embarrassed, but "laughed it off".

When the officer asked Pauling about the woman's state of intoxication, he replied that she was just as intoxicated as he was.

"She was fully coherent, she never said no," Pauling said.


"If I was in a situation where someone said no I would never push a girl into a situation like that."

He later told defence counsel Alan Cressey that he was "ashamed and embarrassed" when he found out about the photo and addressed Trembath about it.

Pauling said he went back to the hotel on August 14 with the woman after an awards celebration. The pair sat on the couch and began kissing and the woman performed oral sex on him.

Trembath, who had also been at the awards, contacted him via phone and asked if he could come to the hotel and arrived just before midnight.

Pauling said he and Trembath were on the couch and the woman continued oral sex on him while "fondling" Trembath who then had sex with her.

Trembath then went out on to the balcony and then returned to find the woman and Pauling still together and took a photograph on his phone.

But Pauling told the defence and the crown he did not know the photo had been taken.
Crown prosecutor Steve Manning said Pauling was smiling and gesturing at the camera.

"You're smiling at the camera aren't you," Manning said.

"I did not know a photo of me was being taken at the time," Pauling said.

Manning: "That defies belief; you're looking at the camera … that photo is very much at her expense isn't it".

Pauling: "I got myself exposed without my knowledge either."

The trial continues.