Man denies sex assault charges
A 43-year-old man has appeared in court facing charges of sexual violation and indecent assault.
Wayne Arthur Todd, of Dunedin, has denied the charges, relating to an incident that is alleged to have taken place nearly 18 months ago.
In the Blenheim District Court yesterday, Crown prosecutor Sophie O'Donoghue said Todd went to a Blenheim woman's address on December 19, where he sexually violated and sexually assaulted her.
During the first day of the trial, which is expected to last at least two days, the court heard that the complainant had been having problems with her husband.
He had stayed away from their house in the days before December 19 so they could have some space, but returned that evening.
He brought a four pack of pre-mixed vodka drinks, which the complainant drank before having a bath.
Her husband left the house again and while he was gone text messages were exchanged between the complainant and Todd, arranging for him to come around for coffee.
While they were in the kitchen, the complainant said Todd tried to kiss her, and "stuck his tongue" in her mouth.
In a police interview, the complainant said the pair then went to the lounge, where she kept "coming in and out of consciousness" on the couch.
She then remembers waking up to find Todd with his hand down her pants.
She pushed him away and said "no", before he put his hand down her top, and started touching her breast, she said.
Numerous text messages had been sent by the complainant to her husband throughout the night, asking where he was, and the husband arrived home shortly after the alleged assault.
During cross-examination, defence lawyer Rennie Gould asked the complainant why she had not asked Todd to leave if he had touched her inappropriately.
Gould also suggested the allegations had been made up by the complainant because she was concerned her husband would think she had been up to something.
The complainant responded that she would not make something like that up, and that she had not asked Todd to leave because "he was a friend at the time".
The trial was to continue today in front of a jury of seven women and four men.
One woman was struck off the jury panel yesterday but details of her removal were suppressed.
The Marlborough Express