Men claim belief in consent at rape trial

September 29, 2017 | By More

Two men who had sex with a drunk 17-year-old girl on a surf club roof said they believed “on reasonable grounds” that she was consenting to the activity, at a Christchurch District Court jury trial.

The men did not give evidence but their views were put to their jury in the closing addresses by their defence counsel on the fourth day of the trial before Judge David Saunders.

Judge Saunders will sum up on Friday morning before the jury retires to consider its verdicts on rape and sexual violation charges against Parampreet Singh, 27, and Amritpal Singh, 25. They deny the charges. The men are not related.

Simon Shamy, counsel for Amritpal Singh, urged the jury to consider the context of what happened on the night of December 23, 2013, around the New Brighton Surf Club area.

The girl had made contact over a dating website, and Amritpal Singh had been told by his friend that she was “there for sex”, he said. She had been happy to go parking at a deserted spot at the beach late at night.

She had earlier had sex with the other man while they were in the car. She was co-operative and had removed her clothes twice. She was clearly able to communicate what she wanted. “She did not say or do anything on the (surf club) roof that Amritpal saw or heard that showed she was not consenting.”

He said the girl had broken up with her boyfriend and indicated online that she thought “relationships are just a waste of time”.

The girl had been “encouraged” to drink vodka, but had not been forced, Mr Shamy said.

He cited an expert’s report about the effects of alcohol consumption on memory and behaviour, and said it provided a basis for thinking she could have had a memory black-out and had then “inadvertently but genuinely filled in the gaps in her memory”.

Andrew Bailey, defence counsel for Parampreet Singh, said that in situations where there were fragmentary black-outs, the brain might try to “join the dots”.

The Crown did not say that the girl was incapable of consenting because of her intoxication, but that she was not consenting to the sex.

The girl had become drunk, and to some extent she had been taken advantage of, but that did not mean the men had raped her. “Just because she cannot remember, that does not mean she was incapable of performing the physical task at the time,” Mr Bailey said.

The trial is continuing.

 

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