Jury delivers verdict in Hamilton Island rape trial
A man charged with raping a woman on Hamilton Island smiled and wiped away tears while sitting in the dock as the jury handed down a not guilty verdict.
Jaspreet Singh Dua pleaded not guilty to one count of rape on January 25, 2020.
The court heard the pair had been drinking together before they went back to Mr Dua's unit.
The Crown alleged they kissed and began having sex before the woman said no. Mr Dua denied the allegations.
It took the six-man, six-woman jury less than two hours to reach their not-guilty verdict.
Mr Dua's barrister Steve Zillman argued in Mackay District Court the Crown prosecutor's case collapsed when his client's roommate gave evidence.
The court heard the roommate had inadvertently interrupted Mr Dua and the woman while they were on the bed after he returned to the unit to get ice cream.
Mr Zillman told the jury this presented a clear opportunity for the woman to escape or attract the roommate's attention, but this did not happen.
He said it was not unreasonable to infer the woman may have been embarrassed by the roommate's presence.
"All of the sudden, there was a change in the mood of the complainant," he said.
Mr Zillman submitted there was no suggestion of collusion between Mr Dua and his roommate.
The court heard Mr Dua also volunteered Facebook messages he sent the woman after the incident asking, "please tell me what happened all of the sudden?"
Mr Zillman questioned why Mr Dua would ask that if he knew what he had done.