Big charge against alleged gang rapist
6 mins read

Big charge against alleged gang rapist

The lawyer for one of three men accused of gang-raping three teenage girls during a stag weekend has argued a jury “will never be able” to find his client was a rapist based on “patently flawed” evidence presented to the court.

Andrew David, 30, and brothers Maurice Hawell, 30, and Marius Hawell, 22, have pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated sexual assault in a social setting, attempting to commit aggravated sexual assault in a social setting and aggravated sexual touching.

The trio were celebrating Maurice’s upcoming wedding at a stag party in Newcastle over the weekend in February 2022 when they allegedly gang-raped three women.

Prosecutors say three men sexually assaulted two 18-year-old women on Friday night before attacking a 19-year-old the following night.

Big charge against alleged gang rapistBig charge against alleged gang rapist

Maurice Hawell has denied gang-raping three women during a stag weekend in Newcastle. Photo: NewsWire / John Appleyard

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He works as a lawyer. Photo: NewsWire / John Appleyard

Maurice and Mr David maintain that all the sexual activity was consensual, while Marius claims he was not involved in any sexual incidents during the stag weekend.

Three men face a weeks-long trial in the District Court of New South Wales over allegations they took part in a joint criminal enterprise that was against the women’s wishes.

In his closing argument on Tuesday, District Attorney Craig Evans said both Maurice and Mr. David had been constantly looking for opportunities to engage in group sex throughout the weekend, whether they consented or not.

As for Marius, Mr Evans said he had been randomly seeking sexual contact with other people throughout the weekend.

He asked the jury to consider the “rush” with which Marius left the pub on Friday evening after the two teenagers returned to the group’s Airbnb accommodation, and the “timing”.

Mr Evans said Marius then entered the room where he allegedly gang-raped two 18-year-old girls while he was “in a state of mind to engage in sexual activity”.

The following night, Marius allegedly watched as his older brother and Mr David tied the 19-year-old woman to a bed and allegedly sexually assaulted her.

The court heard the woman had put her trousers on backwards as she rushed to leave the flat after the alleged assaults and that she was “crying”.

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Marius Hawell has denied taking part in any sexual activity over the weekend in question. Photo: NewsWire/John Appleyard

In his address to jurors, Marius’s lawyer, Scott Corrish, said they “will never be able to be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he is a rapist”.

“No one pointed a finger and said he had committed any sexual offence or even that he had been seen without shoes or socks,” he said.

“Although no one claims that Marius Hawell put his penis in my vagina or that his penis was in my mouth, the court finds that Marius is a rapist.”

Mr Corrish argued that the jury could also not be convinced that Marius, along with his older brother and Mr David, had entered into an agreement to commit sexual assault.

He said the case against his client rested in part on the “patently erroneous” testimony of a woman who was at the apartment on Saturday night.

The woman gave evidence about who entered the bedroom where the 19-year-old was allegedly gang-raped, but Mr Corrish noted she had her back to the room.

He also noted that the woman’s account of which bachelor party attendees left the Airbnb with her was contradicted by surveillance footage.

“We request that Marius be found guilty based on this evidence,” his lawyer said.

“Evidence that is not only suspect, but is demonstrably false.”

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The Crown claimed Marius was an opportunist. Photo: NewsWire/John Appleyard

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But his lawyer criticized the case against him. Photo: NewsWire / John Appleyard

He also questioned the prosecution’s argument that semen on the T-shirt linked Marius to the alleged gang rapes that took place on Friday night.

Mr Corrish said Marius was seen fully clothed after the alleged incident and that he would have had to change outfits at the speed of Taylor Swift on the Eras tour to “get completely undressed and put back on in a matter of seconds”.

Mr David’s barrister, Sharyn Hall SC, accepted jurors may be “sceptical” about the events at the stag party but reminded them that a criminal trial “is not a moral judgment”.

She noted that one of the 18-year-old women testified that Mr David asked for permission after she allowed him to join her and Maurice in consensual sexual intercourse.

As Ms. Hall put it, the requests were indicative of “their state of mind, which was to ask first, to get permission before they did anything.”

She added that the teenager “didn’t say no” as she was allegedly pushed onto a bed in the second bedroom and allegedly gang-raped in the dark.

“(The woman) thought she had to pretend she was having a good time. And that’s exactly what she did,” Ms Hall said.

“She acted as if she was consenting.”

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Andrew David also pleaded not guilty to gang rape charges. Photo: NewsWire / John Appleyard

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He tried to avoid being photographed as he left court. Photo: NewsWire/John Appleyard

Similarly, Ms Hall said the 19-year-old who was allegedly gang-raped the following night “felt like she had to submit to what was happening”.

Instead of resisting the men switching places, she argued that the woman had adjusted herself to feel more comfortable.

“It’s clear from the evidence that whether she wanted to get involved or not, she gave the impression that she wanted to get involved and that she enjoyed what was happening,” she said.

Mr David’s lawyer argued that his client did not know the teenagers were not consenting because “they behaved in a way that suggested to Mr David that they were consenting”.

She suggested the jury would be “concerned” about how much reliance could be placed on the women’s statements about the alleged gang rapes.

Ms Hall will complete her closing speech on Wednesday before Marius’ lawyer, Richard Pontello SC, addresses the jury.