Rape-accused: I'm sorry for the harm I caused you

Northern Districts cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn leaves the Hamilton District Court following an earlier appearance.
FAIRFAX NZ

Northern Districts cricketer Scott Kuggeleijn leaves the Hamilton District Court following an earlier appearance.

A top cricketer accused of raping a woman sent her an apologetic text message the next day.

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's fourth day on Thursday featured the defence opening and the defendant taking the stand.

The court heard details of a text message Kuggeleijn sent the day after the alleged incident on May 17 last year.

The text read: "I heard you felt you couldn't say no and were pressured into things.

"It's pretty chilling to hear and think of myself in that kind of light, but looking back I was pretty persistent.

"I'm so so sorry and it has made me think about a few things.

"I hope you are OK and I'm sorry for the harm mentally I have caused you."

Defence lawyer Philip Morgan QC asked his client what he meant by the expression "think about a few things".

Kuggeleijn replied he had a daughter, who was born following a previous relationship he had with another woman.

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At the time of the alleged offending, the child was just a few months old.

His thoughts were whether "going out and drinking and having sex with women was something I should be doing", he said.

Kuggeleijn told Morgan he sent the text because he felt "pretty sick in the stomach" after hearing the woman, a 20-year-old Waikato University student, had told friends she believed she had been raped by him.

Kuggeleijn said he had intended to send the text directly to the alleged victim, but he sent it in error to a friend – who, after checking with Kuggeleijn, forwarded it to the woman.

Earlier in the trial the jury was told 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 her head and – despite her alleged protestations – raped her.

On Thursday Kuggeleijn said he did not believe anything untoward was taking place as they were having sex, and the woman had not said "no" or had told him to stop at that time.

"She was breathing heavily. She seemed like she was enjoying it."

Afterwards, the woman left the room and, at his request, returned with a glass of water.

Soon after her flatmate entered the room and told Kuggeleijn he had to leave, which he did immediately.

Why the haste, asked Morgan.

"If someone tells you to get out of their house and you barely know them, you should go," Kuggeleijn said.

Earlier, in the day the court heard from a friend of Kuggeleijn, who described some of the banter and flirtatious interaction between Kuggeleijn and the alleged victim at the party earlier that evening, and also when he and two other men briefly visited the pair in the woman's flat, around 4.30am – an account that was later corroborated, at least in part, by the defendant.

This included the alleged victim flirting with them and grabbing both of their crotches at the party.

Under cross examination by Crown prosecutor Jacinda Foster, Kuggeleijn said he and the friend had discussed the woman at the party, but he said he could not remember parts of it, including an alleged exchange when the friend said they should "hook up".

Kuggeleijn had initially responded with "f*** no" and, later, "maybe if nothing happens in town".

The woman was acting very flirtatiously and was wearing a short skirt and a top "with her breasts pushed up," he said.  

Kuggeleijn is well known in cricketing circles. 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.

 - Stuff

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