Consent at heart of cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn's rape trial

Northern Districts cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn leaves court following an earlier appearance. He has begun a four-day ...
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Northern Districts cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn leaves court following an earlier appearance. He has begun a four-day trial on a single charge of rape.

She was drunk and she told him no.

But whether or not the 20-year-old woman meant it has become a central point of contention in the rape trial of a top Hamilton cricketer. 

Northern Districts player Scott Christopher Kuggeleijn, 24, is on trial in the Hamilton District Court, facing a single charge of raping the woman in her bed, following a night of drinking in Hamilton.

The jury trial began on Monday with both prosecution and defence outlining their arguments about exactly what happened in the Hamilton East house the woman was living in, in the early hours of May 17, 2015.

The court heard the alleged victim and Kuggeleijn had been drinking at a friend's party in another house in Hamilton before heading into town, and then back to her house.

The pair had gone to bed and had begun kissing and fondling each other. Although she was intoxicated at the time, the woman allegedly made it clear to him she did not want matters to proceed any further.

After falling asleep for a time, the pair awoke about dawn the next day, when Kuggeleijn then allegedly lay on top of her, pinioned her arms over the top of her head and - despite her alleged protestations – raped her.

Much of the trial's first day was spent with defence lawyer Philip Morgan QC cross-examining the alleged victim, who said she initially took a non-forceful response to his advances.

"Can you tell us what you mean by saying 'no' in a lighthearted manner," he asked the tearful woman.

"I was saying no," she said. "I was not coming out all guns blazing. I thought I should be adequate saying no. It should not matter what tone of voice I was saying it."

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Morgan asked: "Did you mean 'No, not now,' as if you did not mean it?"

"I meant it," she said.

"Were you saying no but not meaning no?"

"I would not say that," she said. "I was also pulling my underwear back up."

Morgan also took issue with an earlier exchange between the pair, in which Kuggeleijn asked whether the woman was "on the pill" – to which she had said yes.

"Did you not recognise that telling him you were on the pill in those circumstances was you telling him you wanted to have sex with him?" he asked.

The jury of eight men and four women were played security camera footage of Kuggeleijn and the alleged victim in Hamilton's Fusion bar, which showed the pair embracing and kissing and Kuggeleijn buying her a drink.

The woman said her memories of what happened at the bar were sketchy and she was very drunk.

She recalled texting "help" to a friend, but was too incapacitated to answer a call from that person.

Earlier, Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster told the jury that the victim was far from a willing participant.

"She became quite uncomfortable very quickly ... he would not desist," Foster told the jury.

"Afterwards she was completely distraught. What the defendant had done was a gross breach of trust.

"The defendant engaged in an act of sexual intercourse ... when she did not want to. And he knew she did not want to."

The prosecution did not take issue with what Kuggeleijn might or might not have hoped would happen, Foster said.

"He was never entitled to assume one act of physical intimacy would lead to another act of physical intimacy ... an act of sexual intercourse."

​Morgan said Kuggeleijn believed completely the woman had consented to sex.

"Consent is the key word. It matters not whether it was given joyfully, reluctantly, exuberantly ... Consent given, but subsequently regretted, is still consent."

Kuggeleijn is well known in cricketing circles.

He played for Wellington for two seasons, but moved back to Hamilton in 2013, where he was born and raised.

In 2014 he was named Northern Knights bowler of the year and cricketer of the year.

He is also the son of former New Zealand and Northern Districts cricketer Chris Kuggeleijn – best known as the man who took the catch to give Richard Hadlee his world record.

The trial, before Judge Philip Connell, is estimated to run for four days.

 - Stuff

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