‘Not OK’: Woman’s text after alleged footballer sex assault
The woman who has accused NRL star Jack de Belin of sexual assault sent a text message the day after the alleged incident telling a male friend who was with her for part of the night: "What happened last night was not OK."
Mr De Belin, 29, and his co-accused Callan Sinclair, 23, are standing trial in Wollongong District Court where they have pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual assault.
The woman met up with the pair and several other men at the Mr Crown nightclub on the evening of December 8, 2018, before the alleged sexual assault at a North Wollongong apartment in the early hours of the following morning.
Matthew Clune was with Mr Sinclair and Mr de Belin among a group who were celebrating the Santa Pub Crawl.
The court heard on Tuesday that on the afternoon of December 9, Mr Clune, at the request of Mr Sinclair, sent the woman a message.
Mr Clune said Mr Sinclair was in a state of disbelief when he heard that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was making a complaint of sexual assault.
"Heard some talk about last night, everything OK?" Mr Clune wrote in a text message read to the jury.
The woman, who was 19 years old at the time, responded: "I'm not OK. What happened last night was not OK."
The court heard on Tuesday Mr Clune met up with a group of male friends at the house of Mr de Belin's St George Illawarra teammate Euan Aitken before proceeding to their first stop on the pub crawl in the afternoon.
It was later in the night at Mr Crown where the group, which also included Dragons player Jai Field, met up with the woman.
Mr Clune said he briefly saw Mr Sinclair and the woman kissing on the dancefloor before the group left the club.
"When I was in the part of the dancefloor, I was dancing by myself. I looked to the side for a quick glance, I saw them kissing," Mr Clune said.
Asked by crown prosecutor David Scully how long he saw them kissing, Mr Clune said: "A second or so. I didn't want to stare at them when they were kissing."
When he was asked to describe the kiss, Mr Clune described it as a "fun, intimate kiss".
The woman has claimed in court she was deceived into accompanying Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair to the Gipps Street apartment.
She has claimed, during her testimony, she was told they would take a tuktuk ride to the Fever nightclub.
However, she has said, Mr de Belin ordered the driver to make an unexpected turn before luring her into the apartment because both men said they needed to charge their phones.
Mr Clune said he had no discussions with either Mr de Belin or Mr Sinclair about where they were heading and a short time later he and Mr Field peeled off from the group to attend the Fever nightclub.
The woman has claimed that she was raped vaginally, anally and orally in the apartment as Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair swapped positions several times.
Mr de Belin and Mr Sinclair have denied all allegations and claimed all sex was consensual.
The woman caught an Uber with both men back to the Wollongong CBD where they stood in line at the Fever nightclub before she left.
She has claimed she was fearful the entire time before taking an opportunity to get away while they stood in line.
On the afternoon of December 9, Mr Sinclair phoned Mr Clune.
"He couldn't believe what he was hearing," Mr Clune said of Mr Sinclair's reactions to the woman's claim.
The court heard Mr Clune sent Mr Sinclair several messages about the allegations in the coming days, questioning the woman's claims.
In one he said that it was "suss" that she had accompanied them to Fever after the alleged attack.
In another text, Mr Clune said: "Yeah that's it. You claim you've been raped and not even struggle or anything and then go back into town."
The trial before Judge Andrew Haesler continues.*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as 'Not OK': Woman's text after alleged assault