Date rape drug used by meth dealer, Crown claims

April 10, 2017 | By More

The Crown alleges the date rape drug GHB may have been used on a woman by her meth dealer before he raped her in her Greymouth home.

The woman began giving her account of the alleged sex attack in early 2014 on the first day of the trial of the 31-year-old meth dealer before Judge Brian Callaghan and a jury in the Christchurch District Court today.

But the man’s defence counsel Marcus Zintl told the jury that the man said the offending never happened, and the allegations arose from the woman’s own methamphetamine addiction.

The allegation arose at a time when she had smoke P, or pure methamphetamine, and she had continued smoking it afterwards.

“The complainant has either hallucinated the incident as a result of smoking methamphetamine, or has false memory as a result of smoking methamphetamine, or she is lying,” Mr Zintl said.

The defence would call expert evidence from a forensic psychiatrist who would say that consumption of P could adversely affect and person’s perception and memory, and consumption afterwards could also affect memory. It was not unusual for people using the drug to have hallucinations.

The jury was told as the trial began that the man had admitted dealing in methamphetamine and had been been dealt with by the courts for that.

The man, who has interim name suppression, denies charges of stupefying the woman with intent to sexually violate her, and raping her, in a trial expected to last about four days.

Prosecutor Andrew McRae told the jury: “The Crown alleges he administered a drug that was likely the date rape drug GHB with the intention that it would facilitate the intended rape.”

The man had regularly supplied the woman with methamphetamine and cannabis, and they had taken drugs together but they had no relationship.

When the man went to her house on this day early in 2014, they made hot drinks and then the woman went outside for a cigarette. When she went back inside and drank her hot drink, she began feeling tired, sick, and weak.

She alleged the man then attacked her, in a struggle that broke her ranchslider door and smashed the lock. He then pinned her down, removed her pants, and raped her while she struggled and said “No”, Mr McRae said.

A consultant toxicologist would give evidence that GHB was a drug that affected the central nervous system. It was a powder which dissolved into liquids, or was in liquid form in vials or small bottles.

It would take effect in 10 to 20 minutes, causing a loss of muscle tone, loss of inhibitions, relaxation, slowed heart rate and respiration.

It had a soapy or salty taste but when put in a drink it was difficult to detect. “When administered it can incapacitate a person and make them very vulnerable,” Mr McRae said.

Its effects were the opposite of methamphetamine, which was an “upper” which caused a rush or a high. The woman was a regular P user, who knew the effects of that drug.

The woman did not make a complaint for a year, after the police heard rumours and approached her about it. She had photographed the bruising on her body that she received in the struggle with the man and had texted the photo to people who would be called to give evidence.

Mr McRae said: “The Crown says he drugged her so that he could have sex with her. What he did not take into account was that she would remember what happened.”

The trial is continuing.

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