Sri Lankan appears in New Zealand court to face rape charges

A Sri Lankan man appeared in a  New Zealand court today to face charges of raping a woman.

A brief fling between the man and woman living at the same house deteriorated into allegations of rape and sexual assault, a Nelson jury heard.

The woman alleged she woke to find the man in her room, where he pinned her down, raped her and left her shaking on the bed, the Stuff website reported.

The Sri Lankan faces 12 charges including five of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection, two of sexual violation by rape, four of indecent assault, and one of male assaults female.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Crown prosecutor Jackson Webber said while there had been a “very brief” consensual sexual relationship between the pair, the complainant had “put a fairly rapid end” to it.

“The Crown case is that the defendant did not and would not accept her decision,” Webber said.

It’s alleged the Sri Lankan man raped her on two occasions during June and July last year. He had been living at the Nelson house since November 2015, after coming to New Zealand from Sri Lanka.

The Crown case also includes several other instances between June and July where the defendant sexually assaulted the woman, touching her inappropriately.

The jury heard while the woman had initially felt flattered by the advances of a younger man and consented to have sex, she then wanted to end the relationship as she understood he had a wife and child in Sri Lanka.

The alleged offending took place over two months before the woman reported it. She said she tried to appease him and had hoped the sexual contact would stop as the man assured her there would be no further incidents.

However the defence case is that there was no sexual contact between the pair at all, other than the brief consensual relationship during the start of their living arrangement.

Defence lawyer Tony Bamford said for whatever reason, the complainant had fabricated her account.

“She has made up these allegations. They are wrong, they are lies, they are something that was created in her head,” Bamford said.

He told the jury the Sri Lankan man had been busy with tertiary studies at the time of the alleged offending, and had been looking for alternative accommodation as the arrangement with the complainant no longer suited.

He also said the defendant’s account would state that he had been the one to end the initial sexual fling and had not engaged in any further sexual contact.

During initial cross examination, Bamford asked the complainant why, if the offending had taken place, text messages between the pair after the alleged incidents had been both personal and friendly.

Bamford pointed to a message where the complainant referred to the defendant as “hun” and shared information about her recent doctor’s visit and weight loss.

“You’re comfortable communicating with him in a friendly and personal way,” Bamford said, and asked why that was the case if, as she alleged, the defendant had already assaulted her.

The complainant said she was just a “friendly” person, referred to a lot of people as “hun” and didn’t think the information had been particularly personal.

She earlier told the court that she had been trying to keep the peace and hadn’t wanted to make the defendant angry.

The trial continues.

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