Up-and-coming footballer Kurt De Luis, 24 (above) is on trial for sexual assault and attempted assault, and a jury will soon be retiring to consider her verdict
A woman thought she became intimate with a man in a ‘pitch black’ bathroom when she was actually sexually assaulted by a footy player, a court has heard.
Emerging rugby league player Kurt De Luis, 24, is on trial at NSW District Court for allegations that he raped a woman at his home in west Sydney.
The court heard that in the early hours of Saturday, July 20, 2019, De Luis attempted to have sex with the friend of the alleged victim in his roommate’s room, upstairs.
But the jury was told that the aspiring NRL player could not ‘finish’, the woman promised to return and then went down.
There, in the bathroom, one-time Wentworthville Canterbury Cup prop Jacob Esau is said to kiss a young woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
There are major differences in reports of what happened next, with the jury ruling on allegations that De Luis – who did not plead guilty – had sexually assaulted the woman in the bathroom.
The entire alleged ordeal took place in the Oatlands stock house where De Luis lived with Parramatta Eels star Reed Mahoney and netball player Jamie Lee-Price.
The NSW court has heard nasty claims about that night’s events and Blacktown Sea Eagles player Kurt De Luis (left, on social media photo, right in court on Friday)
The defense told the court that the incident would have occurred in the ‘smallest bathroom in the world’ in the above Oatlands house in 2019
What the alleged victim claimed: attacked in ‘pitch black’
In the closing submissions on Friday, Crown Prosecutor John Sfinas told the jury the version of the events of the alleged victim.
Mr. Sfinas said that according to the woman, Mr. Esau had left the bathroom, apparently to pick up a condom.
The Crown said that De Luis then entered the bathroom, pulled the woman string aside and attacked her with his fingers.
But Mr. Sfinas told the jury that the young woman at the time wrongly believed that it was Mr. Esau who performed the act on her.
The prosecutor said to the jury, “She thought it was Jacob who had picked up a condom.
“She thought it was Jacob, when in fact it was the suspect.”
The district attorney told the jury “it was pitch dark, in a room she had never been before” and that she had noticed that De Luis had been “rougher” with her than Mr. Esau.
Jacob Esau had an intimate moment with the woman in the bathroom before De Luis entered
The Crown said the version of the alleged victim’s events read that she “stepped out of the sink” to stabilize herself “and the light was turned on.
“She felt a hug from behind her waist,” said Mr. Sfinas.
“She turns around and who sees them? Kurt De Luis. ‘
Mr. Sfinas told the jury that the woman claimed to have asked the footballer, “What are you doing here?”
She said she had been told, “Shhh, don’t worry,” the court heard.
The woman claimed that De Luis tried to attack her while trying to put her pants back on, with the court hearing a graphic detail of the meeting in Mr. Sfinas’ retelling.
She said she repeatedly said “no” to De Luis and asked him to stop, the jury heard.
In his own story, De Luis claimed a completely different version of the events. He said the woman “grinned” when he entered the room and said words like “you should have asked, cheeky.”
The Crown rejected De Luis’s claims and said ‘it was missing reality’.
“On the version of (the alleged victim) there is no grin, no, cheeky boy,” said the prosecution.
“It’s someone who was in pitch black darkness, is now disoriented and is being pushed and poked and pushed and poked.”
After the alleged attack, Mr. Sfinas told the jury that the woman reportedly walked out of the bathroom “almost immediately.”
Eels player Reed Mahoney (left) witnessed during the trial, and during the hearing, he told the alleged victim in the driveway, “You’re only upset because your partner caught you with a whore.” In a further turn, the court heard that De Luis had sex in the bedroom of his housemate Jamie Lee Price while she was away at the time
The prosecutor told the court that the alleged victim then confronted Mr. Esau and said, “I thought it was you, I thought it was you.”
The court later heard Eels player Reed Mahoney say to the alleged victim in the driveway, “You’re only upset because your partner caught you with a whore.”
Mr. Sfinas said the woman did not take a shower after that and kept the clothes she had that night after the alleged incident.
“Is it a liar’s actions?” he asked the jury.
Mr. Sfinas said the jury is open to discover that De Luis has not taken “reasonable steps” to find out whether the young woman had consented.
However, the woman and Mr. Esau’s version of the events were different, he admitted, and the court heard the lights were actually on at the time.
Mr. Sfinas said that Mr. Esau’s wife and accounts had some differences, but “the two versions can be reconciled.”
“It takes no effort to see that their stories are consistent,” he said.
The alleged victim has ‘sprung up’ with another man, the defense claims
Defense attorney Michael Smith told the jury that the alleged victim had not been “upset” about what had happened until she was “shot” by the very close friend De Luis had just had sex with upstairs.
“(The alleged victim) was not in distress there, at least not until she jumped, jumped up by her friend, who the complainant says is upstairs or asleep,” said Smith.
The friend had entered the bathroom while De Luis and the other woman were together, the court heard.
“(De Luis) left the girl upstairs with a promise to return and was caught downstairs with another … literally red handed,” said Mr. Smith.
De Luis and his mother embrace out of court
Meanwhile, the defense attorney argued that there were other gaps in the Crown case, arguing that Mr. Esau had seen De Luis and the woman “hook up.”
Mr. Smith also claimed that both De Luis and Mr. Esau “independently (told) the police that there was a time when they were both in the bathroom together.”
He said that Mr. Esau had even provided evidence that he was closing the door “to give them privacy,” and recalled how he was asked, “Why did you want to give them privacy?”
“I don’t know,” he said. ‘
Mr. Smith said, “You know, you know why, because (you) saw them plugging in because the light was on.”
The defense said the Crown case was that Esau left a girl “who he had bonded with, in her underwear, sitting on the couch in the dark.”
Mr. Smith said that other witnesses in the house had not heard the woman say “no” to De Luis and claimed that it was “demonstrably absurd” that there were three people in the bathroom and that the alleged victim did not know.
The defense will finalize its closing submissions on Monday.
The judge then summarizes the case and the jury considers the decision.