Trial of Wellington Musician Accused of Rape Begins
Trigger warning: The following article contains references that may be triggering to survivors of sexual assault. If you’re struggling, please know help is available to you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
As reported by 1 News, the first day of the trial took place in Wellington District Court today. The musician, who has name suppression, allegedly sexually assaulted the victims as they slept and were unable to provide consent.
The alleged incidents involved six women at properties across the city following nights out or parties, all between 2017 and 2020.
The complainants bringing forth the charges are over 16-years-old, and also have name suppression. According to Crown lawyer Kate Feltham, the musician took advantage of the complainants who were in a vulnerable position, many asleep in bed after a night of drinking. “He was well aware of that but continued on,” Feltham said.
Some of the complainants even considered themselves to be friends with the man, who allegedly claimed on several occasions that he was simply looking for somewhere to rest after a night of drinking. As Feltham alleged, he then climbed into bed and assaulted them.
Feltham added that one complainant, who has accused the musician of raping her in her bed after a party, even blamed herself for the incident.
The court was informed that a social media post was published about the defendant online back in 2020, and was separately noticed by several of the complainants. That sparked a police investigation, with a 23-year-old man arrested in December of that year.
“(They were) aware the experiences with the complainant weren’t unique to them, and this led to them making police statements,” Feltham noted.
All six women are set to provide evidence in the trial, which is set to last for seven days.