11 Mar 2020

Police rape trial: Fellow officer describes conflicting accounts

5:53 pm on 11 March 2020

A police colleague of a woman who says another officer raped her has described both parties' accounts of that night.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

A 29-year-old police officer is on trial in the Auckland District Court this month accused of groping his colleague and later raping her has she slept.

Today, a man who worked with both the complainant and defendant told the jury of his shock in hearing the woman's story for the first time.

The court was told the pair were part of a group of police officers who were booked into a Kerikeri motel to work during Waitangi commemorations last year.

The witness, whose identity is suppressed, said the team had a strict "don't screw the crew" policy but socialised with one another off-duty, as they did the night before Waitangi Day.

He said the officers played drinking games at the motel that night, some skulling beer out of a hollowed-out police baton.

"We were just all having a good time, having fun. I think we have a lot of banter with each other and it's always a friendly environment."

The witness said he and the defendant went to their beds just before 1am. The accused later woke him up.

"I've slowly woken up and that's when he's told me that something's happened with him and [the complainant]. He said that she was quite upset."

The witness said he thought the pair had had a disagreement but the man told him it was serious.

"He said that they'd hooked up and while they were doing it she stopped him, she said she couldn't do it anymore and started crying."

The man told the court he went to the woman's unit and found her crying hysterically; telling him she was sleeping and woke up to the defendant raping her.

"I was just in shock at the time. I just told her, said I was sorry, I didn't know what else to say. I did want to console her physically but I knew it wasn't a good idea."

The Crown's case is that the accused man raped the woman as she slept after she'd earlier rejected a sexual advance from him.

His defence has argued the woman was awake and a willing participant in what was a prearranged hook up.

The woman has denied this and suggestions she had lied to cover up cheating on her partner.

She told the court earlier today that she had concerns about approaching her manager that night.

"I felt pretty vulnerable. With what had just happened to me I guess I just didn't know who I could trust or who I could go to."

She said there was no prearranged hook up with the man and the reason she left her unit door unlocked that night was because the motel was full of police officers.

The trial before Judge Thomas and a jury of six women and six men continues.

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