An innocent night in the pub for Kurtley Beale sparked a year-long nightmare after he was accused of raping a woman in a toilet while her fiancé was outside at the bar.
The former Wallaby was finally acquitted of all three charges of sexual assault on Friday after a two-week trial in the New South Wales District Court.
It took a jury just hours to acquit him of the alleged sexual attack at Bondi’s Beach Road hotel in December 2022.
Beale has always maintained his innocence but his alleged victim insisted she had been forcibly assaulted, as new details of the incident can now be revealed.
The 35-year-old rugby star insisted the encounter was “completely consensual” and there was no criminal contact.
During the trial, very graphic evidence was given about what the woman claimed happened inside a stall in the pub’s men’s room that night.
But the court also heard the woman and her fiance joking friendly with Beale after the alleged rape, and she even hugged him twice before leaving the bar.
Coincidentally, as the court verdict was being handed down in Sydney on Friday, the alleged victim and her fiancé were getting married on the same day in New South Wales.
Kurtley Beale had even discussed his own wedding to his wife Maddi (pictured, the couple together) with the woman and her fiancé at the Bondi pub where she claimed he raped her, allegations that were dismissed when a jury acquitted him on Friday. .
The rugby star chatted and relaxed with the woman and her fiancé at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi, but the encounter turned into a nightmare for the rugby star that has only just ended with his not guilty verdict.
The three had talked about the couple’s planned nuptials and Beale’s own wedding, as well as his wife Maddi.
The woman even showed Beale pictures of her own wedding that she had saved on her phone from the event, which appeared in Vogue magazine.
The court heard the woman had previously been arguing with her fiancé and was concerned about whether their relationship had a future.
Hours before arriving at the Bondi bar, the woman sent a text message to her fiancé: ‘If you hate me, why?’ and ‘Do you still want to marry me?’, she told the court.
Just a minute later, the woman texted her partner again with just two question marks. About 10 minutes later, she sent the same message with no response.
During cross-examination by Beale’s lawyer, Margaret Cunneen, SC, the alleged victim was asked: ‘Were you quite concerned about your relationship?
Were you desperate to try to change the situation? Your relationship was sinking.
After seven women and five men returned not guilty verdicts on Friday afternoon, Ms Cunneen told the court her client would apply for costs.
The woman, who cannot legally be identified, claimed Beale touched her butt and forced her to perform oral sex in a bathroom stall.
After hearing legal instructions from Judge Graham Turnbull on Friday morning, the jury deliberated only a few hours before returning the verdicts.
A jury has found Kurtley Beale not guilty of raping a woman in a bathroom or touching her sexually without consent, ending a 14-month nightmare for the rugby star.
Beale, 35, is not guilty of one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching after a jury acquitted him in the New South Wales District Court over an alleged incident at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel in December 2022.
In his closing speech Thursday, Cunneen argued that the woman “invented the sexual assault to gain sympathy from her fiancé.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, I have no hesitation in suggesting to you that (the alleged victim) is a manipulative woman who took charge of the circumstances of the night,” Ms Cunneen said.
Cunneen said sexual assault is a terrible and abhorrent crime, which engenders sympathy for victims from those close to them.
“What’s also terrible is a false accusation of sexual assault,” he said.
“That is what has happened in this case, ladies and gentlemen.”
Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks said it was up to the jury whether they believed the woman’s version of events, including the fact that she repeatedly told Beale “no.”
Tunks invited jurors to find that the woman was “firmly consistent” in saying she did not consent to any sexual activity with Beale.
“The Crown’s case is that she is saying ‘no’ on more than one occasion,” he said.
The jury did not believe the Crown’s case.