Young man accused of raping girlfriend in pub toilets walks free after judge found woman’s sexually explicit posts affected her credibility
- 24-year-old man found not guilty of raping friend
- The prosecution was found to have lied during the trial
A 24-year-old man accused of raping a friend in a pub toilet has been found innocent after his accuser’s credibility was called into question.
The packed courtroom in South Australia’s court was shocked on Wednesday by the judge’s ruling in the case against Thomas Esposito.
Judge Joanne Tracey said in her verdict that the woman’s initial lies about sexualized messages between her and Mr. Esposito via Snapchat had damaged her credibility.
The court heard Mr Esposito was accused of pushing the woman against the wall of a unisex bathroom before kissing at Atlantis Bar in 2021, before raping her.
Mr. Esposito did not deny the sexual activity, but vehemently denied that it was not consensual.
Thomas Esposito, 24, (pictured) has been found not guilty of raping his friend in the unisex bathrooms of a bar in 2021 after the judge found the woman’s credibility compromised
The court was told that the couple entered the toilet cubicle together before the incident took place.
Mr Esposito’s lawyer, Andrew Culshaw, told the court that his client was candid about his actions on the night and did not downplay his drinking or sexual activity.
“He wasn’t trying to portray himself as an angel,” Culshaw said, according to The Adelaide Advertiser.
He told the court that the couple had had consensual sex in the past and that the woman had lied about sending sexually explicit messages to his client via Snapchat.
“She was determined to portray Mr. Esposito as a sexual aggressor,” said Mr. Culshaw.
“With regard to the Snapchat communication, between the consensual sex and the alleged crime, as someone pursuing her for sex and her ignoring him.”
He then went on to say that all the evidence pointed to consensual sexual activity, not rape, since “Mr. Esposito certainly believed that what happened was consensual.”
Judge Joanne Tracey said in her verdict the woman’s initial lies caused enough doubt to pass a not guilty verdict in the District Court of South Australia on Wednesday (pictured)
In her published reasons for the verdict, Judge Tracey explained that the woman’s lack of acknowledgment of the couple’s sexual communication was “disturbing.”
“No doubt (the woman) was embarrassed and perhaps worried that such communication would reflect badly on her and that her previous behavior would be taken as evidence that he had been a very willing participant in what happened in the Atlantis. bar,” she wrote.
‘(The woman) had willingly walked hand in hand with the suspect to the toilet and seemed to have tolerated him at least in the first toilet cubicle.
“These things that happened against the background of (the woman) who previously sought out the suspect and communicated with him in the way she had.”