New Zealand - A young Wellington woman raped by a bouncer in an alleyway could have "closed her legs" if she didn't want sex, the man's lawyer told a jury.
Keith Jefferies was addressing the Wellington District Court in defence of George Jason Pule, who was found guilty of raping the drunk 20-year-old after telling her he could help get her into a club to see her friends.
His comments were condemned after the verdict as "disgusting" and "disrespectful" by Wellington Rape Crisis manager Natalie Gousmett.
Jefferies told the jury that the complainant and Pule, 34, a bouncer at The Establishment bar, had walked down Courtenay Place holding hands before having consensual sex in the early hours of October 22, 2011.
He claimed the woman made a false complaint to police six days later because she regretted the sex. There was no struggle or any threats, nor was there violence, Jefferies said in his closing arguments yesterday.
"All she would have had to do was to close her legs . . . it's as simple as that," he told the jury. "Why didn't she do that? . . . The reason she didn't do that was because the sex was consensual, as easy as that."
Gousmett said Jefferies' remarks were unacceptable. "It's disgusting, but also unnecessary, to use that kind of victim-blaming rhetoric."
Jefferies said after the verdict that his comments were made as part of the defence, and were not his personal view.
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