Jury to decide over rape charges

A JURY today will decide if a Hervey Bay man is guilty of raping his girlfriend's younger sister during a camping trip on Round Island.

The 26-year-old was charged with rape in February last year after the 17-year-old complainant accused him of climbing into her tent and attacking her while she slept.

On Tuesday the man fronted the Hervey Bay District Court where he pleaded not guilty to the charge.

During his two-day trial witnesses including those who were on the camping trip, police, a doctor and a forensic scientist were cross-examined.

Yesterday the court heard from the doctor who examined the complainant at the Hervey Bay Hospital the morning after the alleged rape.

He said he had taken swabs and had found what he believed to be sperm cells.

A forensic scientist later confirmed that sperm cells were present and that they matched the defendant's DNA profile based on a swab taken from his mouth.

The last witness to be called was the defendant.

When asked how his DNA came to be found inside the complainant the defendant said they had consensual sex.

He said the pair had been smoking marijuana in the tent together while her boyfriend was out fishing and the rest of the group was asleep.

He claimed he and the complainant had been “touching” each other before she pulled him on top of her and they began having sex.

Crown Prosecutor Caroline Marco suggested to him that the complainant had been asleep when he entered the tent and that he had penetrated her without permission.

She also questioned why the defendant's eyes were “red and watery” and why he had been “giggling” at inappropriate times during cross-examination.

The trial resumes at 10am.



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