A convicted child sex offender, who allegedly raped a drugged woman, had made a second bail application.
A convicted child sex offender, who allegedly raped a drugged woman, had made a second bail application.

Child sex offender denies raping drugged woman

A CONVICTED child sex offender, who allegedly raped and drugged a woman and stole her "dirty underwear" has made a second bail bid, with his barrister arguing there was a risk of prejudice due to the virus crisis.

In fighting the rape charge, the Mackay man, who is in his mid 20s, is claiming the pair were in a relationship and she had been awake and complicit in having sex in late 2018.

Mackay District Court heard the pair had been smoking marijuana with two others when she fell into a deep sleep because of the drugs and was allegedly raped.

Barrister Scott McLennan argued the Crown case was weak and was "essentially the (woman's) word against my client's".

 

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With the Covid-19 pandemic halting all jury trials across Queensland, Mr McLennan said his client was at greater risk of prejudice if a jury acquitted him after spending a long time in custody waiting for his case to be finalised.

Judge Brad Farr labelled it a "case of credibility" with a central issue being whether or not the pair had been in a relationship.

"If he did give evidence contradicting her evidence then of course he runs the very real risk … of his criminal history being placed before the jury," Judge Farr said.

"There is also evidence … of a sexual interest that the (man) had in the (alleged victim) by the taking of her dirty underwear."

Judge Farr said the penalty could be up to eight years for the rape offence if the man was convicted.

The court heard the man had an 11-page criminal history that included a sex offence committed against a child while on parole for robbery, failing to comply as a reportable sex offender and multiple breaches of bail and failing to appear at court.

Crown prosecutor Samantha O'Rourke said the case was "not a weak case" and the man remained a high risk.

"Delay is but one factor … when the risk of reoffending remains at such an unacceptable level," she said.

As well as the rape charge, the man is facing further charges of failing to comply as a reportable sex offender, which the court heard had been set down for sentence on a later date.

He is also facing drug-related charges in the magistrates court jurisdiction.

Judge Farr accepted there as uncertainty linked to when jury trial would recommence but said the man had "demonstrably and on many occasions" failed to comply with court order and bail conditions.

Bail was rejected.