Consent argued in Melbourne rape trial
A Melbourne man has gone on trial accused of raping a intoxicated woman in the back of a ute after he found her slumped on a footpath.
Harley Palise faced the Victorian County Court on Friday, having pleaded not guilty to raping the woman after he and another man found her on Lygon Street early one morning in June 2018.
His barrister, John Kelly, said the woman, who cannot be named, had consumed drugs and alcohol at a Lonsdale Street nightclub earlier that night but was not "incapable of freely agreeing to the sex that took place".
"It was her initiative and with her consent that it took place," Mr Kelly told the jury in his opening submission.
Prosecutor John Dickie said the woman was so affected by drugs or alcohol that was she was incapable of consenting to sex, or at least "did not reasonably believe she was consenting".
Palise and the other man, Mr Dickie told the jury, raped the woman in Coburg before dropping her home about 5.45am in Mernda, where her fiance was up waiting for her.
Mr Dickie said the fiance would later give evidence he was surprised that a ute dropped her home, rather than an Uber or a taxi, and that his partner was missing her jacket and engagement ring.
In video evidence to be shown before the jury on Monday, the prosecutor added, the woman will say she had bruising on her legs and could not find a tampon she inserted the night before.
The trial continues.
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