National

NSW man accused of gang-rape of 14yo girl

By AAP Newswire

A NSW man accused of gang-raping a 14-year-old girl after a Halloween party in Lake Macquarie later told police the teenager had wanted to have sex with them, a court has heard.

In his opening address to the Newcastle District Court jury on Friday, crown prosecutor Wayne Creasey SC said Harrison Gardner and his friend, Anthony Carter, had been involved in a joint criminal enterprise to take advantage of a "quite intoxicated", vulnerable young girl.

Mr Creasey said Gardner had at one stage been one of four young men with the teenager in Carter's bedroom before Carter's grandmother came into the room and told them they had to leave.

The grandmother had been irate at how many people were in the house.

The prosecutor said the girl had agreed to go to Carter's place to hide from police - who'd been called to shut down the Bolton Point party south of Newcastle - because she was worried about getting in trouble for underage drinking on the night of Saturday, October 28 in 2017.

Gardner is standing trial after pleading not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault in company. He's facing two alternative charges of aggravated sexual intercourse with a person aged 14 to 16.

The prosecutor told the jury the girl had been drinking vodka and lemonade with a girlfriend when she went to the party and kissed Carter and Gardner, who were both 18 at the time.

The girl made them aware she was 14 before agreeing to go to Carter's home after he convinced her she had to avoid the police because she'd been drinking, Mr Creasey said.

She claimed on the way to Carter's house he exposed himself to her in front of Gardner and tried to remove her underwear but she told him "No".

Mr Creasey said her resistance was a clear indicator to Gardner that the girl was not interested in engaging in sexual activity.

The girl later fell asleep in Carter's bed after kissing him before being woken by Carter performing a sex act on her.

Carter allegedly removed some of the girl's clothes before there was a knock on the bedroom window and Carter left the room.

The girl adjusted her clothing and attempted to leave but was pushed back inside by Carter, who was accompanied by Gardner and another young man, the jury was told.

Mr Creasey said Carter and Gardner then dropped their pants but the girl told them loudly: "No, I don't want to do anything."

The prosecutor said Carter then had sex with the girl without her consent.

"She told him to stop but he didn't," Mr Creasey said.

Gardner then allegedly committed a sex act on the girl before a fourth young man entered the room. A short time later they were all asked to leave by Carter's grandmother.

Back at the party house, the girl was upset and crying when she told a friend she had been raped by four boys, the court heard.

Mr Creasey said when Gardner was arrested the next day he claimed he didn't know the girl was 14 and "she had wanted them to f*** her".

Defence lawyer Rebecca Suters on Friday said Gardner had kissed the girl on the bed in Carter's bedroom but denied any sexual activity took place.

Ms Suters said Gardner did not know Carter had had sex with the girl and the jury needed to scrutinise her evidence with great care because when she was first interviewed by police she said all Gardner did was kiss her.

It wasn't until a second police interview a year later that the girl claimed Gardner had sexually abused her, the defence lawyer said.

The trial, before Judge Ross Letherbarrow, continues on Monday.