13 Mar 2020

Police rape trial: Accused called lawyer soon after alleged assault

5:52 pm on 13 March 2020

The jury in the trial of a police officer accused of raping his colleague has heard the man called a lawyer he knew shortly after the alleged assault.

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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

A 29-year-old policeman is on trial in the Auckland District Court this month after pleading not guilty to indecent assault and sexual violation.

The officer, whose identity remains secret on appeal, is accused of groping his colleague and later raping her as she slept in a Kerikeri motel.

His defence lawyer, Paul Borich QC, said any sexual activity was consensual and part of a prearranged hook-up the pair made after a night of flirting.

The complainant has told the jury she woke to the man raping her just hours after he tried to come onto her during a boozy night with colleagues.

Today the court heard the accused sent the woman two Snapchat messages timestamped 12.53am before she went to bed that night.

The contents of the messages were never seen because the man removed the woman as a friend on the application and then deleted it off his phone.

The New Zealand Police made inquiries with Snapchat in the United States but the contents of the messages could not be retrieved.

Digital forensic analyst Luke Robinson told the jury Snapchat provided a chat log but told police the contents of messages were actively wiped.

Detective Treston Laybourn analysed the man's phone and said he had called a friend who was a lawyer at 4.45am the night of the alleged rape.

It's the Crown's case the man crept into the complainant's motel room and "helped himself" to the sleeping woman.

The jury has heard a recording moments after the alleged rape in which she tells the man, "I denied you earlier and I've woken up to you ******* me".

It's also watched CCTV clips that show the pair playfully touching one another while socialising in a group of mostly-male officers earlier that night.

The defence has argued the woman's behaviour before the assaults show the pair were more than just friends; a suggestion the woman rejects.

Last week she told the court felt like "one of the boys" socialising in the group that night and cried as she described waking up in pain find the man raping her.

The woman said the man had tried to come onto her earlier, groping her crotch, but she pushed him away and told him to pull his head in.

Judge Evangelos Thomas declined the man's application for continued name suppression but his identity remains secret on appeal.

The trial before a jury of six women and six men was set down for two weeks but will run into a third.