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Not Guilty of All Six Charges of Sexual Assault and Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm

CRIMINAL CASE

Our client is a 27-year old engineer who resides in the inner-west suburbs of Sydney.

He arrived in Australia as a teenager from mainland China with his parents, before learning English before at a technical college.

He was later accepted into an engineering degree at a prestigious university. 

Whilst undertaking his studies, our client met a woman on a dating app called ‘Hinge’.

They went on a date together at a local restaurant, before the pair proceeded to our client’s apartment to watch a movie. 

According to the complainant, our client forced himself onto her during the course of the night, removing her clothing, holding her wrists, preventing her from leaving and having non-consensual sexual intercourse with her. 

Our client vehemently denied the allegations, asserting the intercourse was consensual. He was adamant that some time into the sexual activity, the complainant became upset and angry, before attacking our client and leaving the premises.

Our client message the complainant thereafter, apologising that the night ended in that way. 

The complainant reported the matter to police and showed them bruises to her legs, which she claimed arose from her attempts to escape the premises.

The complainant later called our client, and the phone call was intercepted by the police pursuant to a surveillance devices warrant.

Our client was charged thereafter with numerous offences, including several charges of sexual assault as well as assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Our client maintained his innocence and entered pleas of not guilty to all charges.

His matter ultimately proceeded to a jury trial in Downing Centre District Court.

The complainant’s cross-examination raised a number of concerns regarding her credibility and the reliability of her testimony, including that:

  • She had opportunities to leave the apartment on her own volition,
  • The pain to her legs was likely due to the sexual activity rather than any alleged assault (as evidenced by testimony from an expert defence witness),
  • She provided inconsistent accounts to various parties, and
  • The pair continued to have sexual relations after the evening.

After the close of the prosecution case, we made an application for the judge to direct the jury to return verdicts of not guilty on all charges because a reasonable jury properly instructed could not sensibly return guilty verdicts in light of the evidence given by the complainant on the witness stand, when considered in light of all the other evidence in the case.

The learned judge agreed, directing verdicts of not guilty.

Our client was thereby acquitted of all charges.

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