Bev Lacey

Toowoomba man denies raping teenager while camping

THE issue of consent was at the centre of a rape trial, Toowoomba District Court has been told.

Defence barrister Kevin Kelso told the jury of seven women and five men that it was conceded his client, a 20-year-old Toowoomba man, had had sex with the 18-year-old complainant woman but the focus of the trial would centre on that of consent.

Opening the case against the defendant, Crown prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso (who is not related to defence counsel Kevin Kelso) told the court the defendant and the complainant had been among a group of people who went camping at Yandilla near Millmerran on the night of Friday, June 10, last year.

The group set up camp near Yarramalong Weir but during the night when the complainant wanted to use the public toilet facilities, the defendant had volunteered to drive her, she said.

The Crown case was that when the girl returned to the car, the pair had kissed but when he pushed her into the car she had said "no".

The teenager claimed despite her protests, the accused man had pulled down her pants and raped her.

He had driven the pair back to camp where the group had slept the night.

Ms Kelso said in the morning the girl had asked for a lift into town and on the way the friend who was driving her had asked if she was okay to which she replied "no" and said she had been raped.

Upon arriving home that morning, the teenager told her mother and they had gone to police, Ms Kelso said.

The accused has pleaded not guilty to two counts of rape.

Much of the first day of the trial yesterday was before a closed court as the complainant woman gave evidence.

The trial before Judge Tony Rafter SC continues today.