Trigger Warning: The following article contains potentially triggering references for survivors of sexual assault. If you are having difficulty, please know that help is available for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.
A Wellington musician has been charged with four counts of rape, as well as two counts of indecent assault and two unlawful sexual acts.
As reported by 1 News, the first day of trial took place today at Wellington District Court. The musician, who has name deletion, allegedly sexually assaulted the victims while they slept and were unable to give consent.
The alleged incidents involved six women at properties across the city after parties or parties, all between 2017 and 2020.
The complainants bringing the charges are over the age of 16 and also have a name deletion. According to Crown attorney Kate Feltham, the musician took advantage of the plaintiffs who were in a vulnerable position, several asleep in their beds after a night of drinking. “He was well aware of it but carried on,” Feltham said.
Some of the complainants even considered themselves friends of the man, who allegedly repeatedly claimed he was simply looking for a place to rest after a night of drinking. As Feltham alleged, he then climbed into her bed and assaulted them.
Feltham added that a complainant, who accused the musician of raping her in bed after a party, even blamed herself for the incident.
The court was told that a social media post was posted online about the defendant in 2020 and was separately noticed by several of the plaintiffs. This sparked a police investigation, with a 23-year-old man arrested in December of that year.
“(They were) aware that the experiences with the complainant were not unique to them, and this led them to make statements to the police,” Feltham noted.
The six women must provide evidence during the trial, which is expected to last seven days.