Landlord found not guilty of raping fruit picker
A landlord has been found not guilty of raping a 27-year-old fruit picker who claimed he forced himself on her after they went for a drive to "see the dolphins".
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with two counts of rape but was acquitted following a judge-only trial in Brisbane District Court last week.
The court heard the Taiwanese woman was on a holiday visa and working as a strawberry picker on a farm north of Brisbane when she began leasing a room from the man in Caboolture in July 2018.
She alleged that four days after moving in, her landlord, who lived on the second level of the house, took her for dinner in Sunnybank then drove to Redcliffe to "see the dolphins".
The woman said ther he showed her a porn video before he raped her twice in his Honda Odyssey as she protested.
The court heard that the pair fell asleep afterwards in the back seat.
During the trial, crown prosecutor Russell Hood said there were cultural and language issues at play but the woman had clearly communicated her lack of consent.
The woman gave evidence that after the alleged incident, her landlord gave her the morning after pill along with $200 of rent money back and offered her $200 a week to be his mistress.
Defence barrister Tony Kimmins said his client did not deny that the pair had sex but told the court it had been consensual.
He suggested that she went to police because she was angry at her landlord for treating her like a prostitute.
Mr Kimmins told the court that WeChat messages between the woman and his client showed how their relationship was progressing and he questioned why she would have slept next to him after the alleged rapes.
Judge Nathan Jarro said he did not believe the woman had an ulterior motive but did say there were "irreconcilable inconsistencies" with the evidence she had given to friends and police.
"I did not consider the complainant to be deliberately dishonest but I am concerned about her reliability in detailing the events in question," Judge Jarro said.
"I am not satisfied the Crown has proved, beyond reasonable doubt, that the evidence led at trial warrants a finding of guilt in respect to the offences."
Judge Jarro acquitted the man of the two counts of rape.
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.
Originally published as Landlord found not guilty of raping tourist