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Jury In Alleged Gang-Rape Trial Told To Consider Evidence "Without Emotion Or Sympathy"

Four males are accused of gang-raping a then 15-year-old girl at a house party in 2012.

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The Crown prosecutor has asked the jury in an alleged gang-rape trial to review evidence "dispassionately and without emotion or sympathy".

Downing Centre courthouse building in Liverpool Street, Sydney.
Angela Brkic / AAPIMAGE

Downing Centre courthouse building in Liverpool Street, Sydney.

Four men – Christian Dickens, 22, Aaron Jensen, 23, and two 21-year-olds, who were underage at the time and therefore cannot be named – are accused of attacking a girl who was 15 at a house party in 2012 in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney.

The girl went to police with her allegations in 2013, but did not make a formal statement until 2015, after which the accused were all charged with at least one count of aggravated sexual assault in company to which they have all pleaded not guilty.

In her closing address, Crown prosecutor Belinda Baker asked the jury at Sydney's Downing Centre District Court to consider whether she had successfully proved each of the 13 indictments "beyond reasonable doubt".

"As you look at these four young men, you may feel some sympathy towards them... [and] towards the complainant, which the Crown alleges has been subjected to a number of sexual assaults at the hands of the accused," Baker said.

"Look at the evidence dispassionately and without emotion or sympathy."

Baker recapped the alleged victim's evidence.

The alleged victim said she remembered waking in a dark room to find herself drenched in water while one of the unnamed boys – who is charged with seven counts of aggravated sexual assault in company, as well as resisting arrest – was having sex with her.

Jensen then allegedly joined the boy to assault the girl while she begged them to stop, the court has been told.

"[The alleged victim] said it was painful, it was hurting, it was sore," Baker reminded the jury on Friday.

"She said that she told them to get out and stop. She said that her voice was slurred and it wasn't very loud but that she knew they heard her because they told her she loved it."

They allegedly digitally penetrated her vagina and anus which was "painful," Baker said.

"They told her she was a lad lover and that she wanted it."

It is then alleged Dickens, who is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault in company, tried to get the girl to perform a sex act on him while the second unnamed boy tried to force her into oral sex, Baker said.

The girl has alleged she was still in the room with Jensen when police officers knocked on the door of the house, and Jensen covered her mouth and she was too weak to call out, so the alleged sexual assaults continued, Baker told the court. The alleged victim has said she eventually pushed Jensen and the first unnamed boy off her, and they left the room.

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Over the course of the trial, defence barristers for the four men have said there has been no evidence given which corroborates the alleged victim's account that police officers knocked on the door.

On Thursday, the jury at Downing Centre District Court was played a video of an interview with Jensen and Detective Matt Clancy of Springwood police force conducted three years after the alleged assault.

In the footage, Jensen denied the allegations of sexual assault.

Jensen said he had “met personally” the alleged victim only once when he claims she verbally abused him on a train months after the house party, but he told Clancy: “I wouldn’t touch her with your dick, put it that way.”

Jensen said he remembered being so intoxicated at the party that he passed out in front of the house but said he later walked past the bedroom and saw "what looked like two people having sex".

In the video interview with Detective Matt Clancy, Jensen was read more of the alleged victim's statement in which she claimed the four boys told her "shut up you love it slut" whenever she protested.

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When he was told by Clancy that the girl's statement claimed Jensen covered her mouth and told her not to say anything when police knocked on the door, Jensen responded: "That is the biggest made up bullshit ever, what the actual fuck."

Jensen, according to the girl's statement, then pulled up her shirt and showed her breasts to a group of boys huddled at the door of the room.

"I already told you I had nothing to do with it I just walked past and had a laugh," Jensen told the detective.

On Wednesday two police officers were cross-examined on statements they took from the alleged victim.

In an earlier statement taken by officer Nick Campbell of Springwood police station, he wrote "[the alleged victim] said at the time she was so intoxicated that she couldn’t remember if she consented to the sex or not."

Meredith Phelps, the barrister for one of the unnamed men, asked Campbell: "The only thing that she is unclear about, the only aspect of her account given to you that was unclear was the issue of consent?"

"Yes, she wasn’t sure about if she consented," he answered.

Baker reminded the jury the alleged victim, who was aged 15 years and nine months at the time of the alleged attack, had, even by a conservative estimation, "consumed around a litre of cheap wine".

One witness told the court she had "never seen anyone [as drunk as the alleged victim] before" while another party guest described the alleged victim as "pretty drunk and tipping over", another as "stumbling" and another as "not really OK, very drunk and wobbly".

Baker explained that consent involved a person "freely and voluntarily" agreeing to each sexual act and asked the jury to consider the effect the alleged victim's intoxication might impact her ability to consent.

The alleged victim's mother testified last Monday that in the weeks that followed the party, her daughter became "very short tempered".

"[She was] very moody, very angry, quite aggressive and she would be up all night ... sometimes I would wake up and I would be able to hear her crying in the lounge room."

The trial continues.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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