Jury acquits man found asleep in bed of woman who alleged she was raped

Waaka-Timoti said he went to the house to return a hair straightener. (File photo)
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Waaka-Timoti said he went to the house to return a hair straightener. (File photo)

A Napier teenager found asleep in a stranger's bed has been acquitted of burglary and rape.

Police arrived at a Napier house to find Manaaki Waaka-Timoti in the early hours of November 12, 2016. 

The woman woke to find him in the bed and called police.

The complainant woke to find the man asleep in her bed. (File photo)
Michel Bunn

The complainant woke to find the man asleep in her bed. (File photo)

The officers photographed him in bed, before handcuffing him, waking and arresting him.

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Waaka-Timoti is on trial at the Napier District Court
STUFF

Waaka-Timoti is on trial at the Napier District Court

Waaka-Timoti, 19, stood trial in Napier District Court facing charges of rape and burglary. After a one-and-a-half day trial before Judge Geoff Rea the jury took three hours to find him not guilty on both charges.

Waaka-Timoti and the complainant did not know each other but had lived in the same neighbourhood.

The complainant was heavily intoxicated and had gone to bed about midnight, Cleary said.

It was alleged that Waaka-Timoti took his clothes off, took the complainant's pants off, and had sex with her without her consent.

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The complainant told the court she was very drunk and was shocked to wake up and find the man in her bed.

She could not remember much, but recalled facial hair rubbing against her face. She did not know the man, had not spoken to him, and had not wanted to have sex with him, she said.

The complainant's flatmate said the complainant was shaking and in shock.

Constable Brent Smith said he found the man asleep in the bed. He was able to photograph the man and the scene before arresting him.

Waaka-Timoti, who was also very drunk, told the officers he had gone to the house to return a hair straightener.

Alan Cressey, for Waaka-Timoti, told the jury the pair had consensual sex. "She was capable of giving consent, and he reasonably believed she had consented."

In a police interview played to the court, Waaka-Timoti initially said he had gone to the house to return a hair straightener.

He did not remember much about the night, but he recalled asking the woman for sex, and her agreeing. Afterwards, they talked and he fell asleep, he said.

Later in the interview, he told detective Steve Leonard he had entered the house and walked around, checking the rooms for things to steal.

He found the woman in her room, and was about to leave, but was "feeling horny".

"She didn't freak out or anything ... I went 'Do you want to have sex with me?' or something like that."

She consented, he said.

The jury retired at 12.20pm on Tuesday and returned its verdict three hours later.

 - Stuff

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