Man found not guilty on sex charges

Last updated 10:10 29/05/2014

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A man has been acquitted of charges of sexual violation and sexual assault.

In the Blenheim District Court Wayne Arthur Todd, of Dunedin, denied the charges which arose after an incident with a Blenheim woman on December 19, 2012.

Giving evidence on Tuesday, the woman said she had arranged for Todd to have coffee with her while her husband was out. She was drunk when he was there and fell in and out of consciousness.

The woman alleged that when she woke on her couch, Todd had his hand down her pants and then touched her breast when she tried to push him away.

Todd denied the charges, saying he had not been sitting on the same couch as the woman, as she alleged.

The court heard that prior to the alleged incident, "dirty" text messages had been sent between the pair.

Crown prosecutor Sophie O'Donoghue said the defendant had initiated the text messages and had told the complainant that he "wanted her" two days prior to December 19.

Her client had replied saying she did not want him, O'Donoghue said.

"He decided to act on his feelings of attraction to her that night," she said.

Todd denied the messages were "dirty", saying he often texted his friends in the same way he had texted the complainant.

His lawyer, Rennie Gould, said Todd had been friends with the complainant and her husband, and had gone to her house for coffee and some company as he was living alone in a caravan at the time.

She also argued that he had no reason to believe the complainant's husband would not be home, or get home while he was there.

He moved his car from the driveway onto the road following the alleged incident to ensure the complainant's husband could get into the driveway when he arrived home, before coming back inside.

"He could walk in at any minute," she said.

Gould asked the jury to consider how likely it was that Todd would speak with the complainant's husband after what was alleged to have happened.

The jury took just over half an hour to return their verdicts of not guilty on each charge.

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