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The case against Kurtley Beale: professional rugby player cleared of charges of sexual assault at a bar in Bondi by a jury.
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The case against Kurtley Beale: professional rugby player cleared of charges of sexual assault at a bar in Bondi by a jury.

In 2022, a jury has determined that rugby player Kurtley Beale is innocent of engaging in sexual intercourse without the consent of the other party, which allegedly occurred in the bathroom of a pub in Sydney.

The previous player for the Wallabies team was acquitted of two charges of non-consensual sexual touching, as the jury delivered their decision on Friday after deliberating for two hours.

Mrs. Beale wept as the jury announced their verdict of not guilty on all charges, while the athlete hung his head in what seemed like a display of relief.

According to his lawyer, Beale’s request for reimbursement will be submitted to the court.

In January 2023, Beale faced charges after a woman reported to the police that he had touched her buttocks and coerced her into performing oral sex in a restroom stall at the Beach Road hotel in Bondi the month prior.

The jury did not believe the woman’s claim that Beale followed her into the restroom stall, exposed himself, and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

The individual, who is not identified for legal purposes, explained in court that they were using the men’s restroom to avoid long lines for the women’s restroom when Beale came in and locked the stall.

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Previously, while providing instructions, Judge Graham Turnbull advised the jury to take as much time as needed to review the evidence in the case.

On Friday, he informed them that they must be convinced of the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Beale did not provide testimony during the trial, however Turnbull cautioned the jurors against making assumptions or speculating about what may have been said if he had.

The jury was instructed to acknowledge that Beale had a good reputation and had not faced any previous accusations of criminal behavior.

During the trial, the varying versions given by the woman to those she knows and in her police statements were thoroughly examined.

According to Beale’s attorney, Margaret Cunneen SC, the woman was “conveying her own version of events to others.”

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The judge warned the jury against using stereotypes when considering the actions of individuals who have experienced sexual offenses. “The effects of trauma can vary greatly,” Turnbull stated.

The jury did not find Beale guilty of one of the charges of sexual touching, which claimed that he put his hands on the woman’s hips while they were in the cubicle and turned her around while saying phrases like “come on” or “let’s have sex”.

Beale was acquitted of one charge of sexual touching, which claimed that he had touched the woman’s buttocks before they entered the cubicle together.

The woman reported that she was at the venue with her friends and fiance when she felt someone touch her buttocks, making contact with her exposed skin.

“I suddenly noticed that it was Mr. Beale,” she had mentioned to the jury beforehand.

During the court proceedings, Cunneen described the accuser as “manipulative” and claimed that she fabricated the alleged sexual assault in order to garner sympathy from her partner.

Jeff Tunks, the prosecutor, urged the jury to believe the woman’s account that Beale had sexual contact with her despite her consistent refusal.

Source: theguardian.com