A MAN accused of raping a woman at an Australia Day party on the Gold Coast last year has walked from court a free man after being acquitted of all charges.
Harley Gene Lewis, 26, was found not guilty of rape and sexual assault with the circumstance of aggravation in the Southport District Court on Thursday following a four-day trial.
Lewis had been charged with raping a 22-year-old woman who he’d met at an Australia Day party on the Coast last year. The party was being hosted at a unit complex by the woman and her friends.
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After several hours of partying, the prosecution claimed Lewis had carried the woman into a bedroom about 4am the following morning and performed oral sex on her before digitally raping her.
Crown prosecutor Sarah Lio-Willie told the court Lewis allegedly removed the woman’s shorts and bikini bottoms and used the drawstring from his boardshorts to tie up her hands before assaulting her.
Ms Lio-Willie further accused Lewis of grabbing the woman’s neck during the assault and said the defendant had only stopped the attack after the woman faked an orgasm.
Lewis’ barrister Anthony Kimmins hit back at the claims, however, arguing that the sexual encounter had been consensual and that his client had “honestly and reasonably” believed the woman had consented.
The four-day trial wrapped up on Thursday, after the jury found Lewis not guilty on all counts.
It took them just less than two hours to reach the verdict.