27 July 2023

Alleged Grindr rape case involved 'miscommunication', barrister claims

| Albert McKnight

Daniel William Monie is fighting his charges at an ACT Supreme Court jury trial. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article refers to an alleged sexual assault.

The defence barrister for a man accused of sexually assaulting a stranger he met on the gay dating app Grindr has claimed it is a case that involves “miscommunication”.

Daniel William Monie is accused of raping the complainant when the latter went to his home in December 2021 to hook up after the pair had been talking over the app.

When his ACT Supreme Court trial started earlier this week, jurors heard the allegations referred to acts of digital and penile-anal rape.

The closing submissions were held on Wednesday (26 July), during which barrister Matthew Johnston SC said his client denied both alleged offences.

He claimed the complainant never told Mr Monie that he didn’t like to be penetrated.

He said the pair were strangers, but they had been in bed together for a couple of hours and had engaged in consensual sexual activity before the alleged incidents.

Mr Johnston claimed that at one stage his client asked the complainant, “Do you want me?” and the complainant replied, “Yes”. Mr Monie then grabbed some lubricant, opened it and put it on his finger.

“[The complainant] saw that and said nothing,” Mr Johnston said.

“This was not an act that was stealthy in any way.”

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He claimed that in the versions of both men, when the complainant said, “It hurts”, his client had stopped what he was doing.

This was consistent with someone who was “trying to be polite and receptive to the needs of others”, the barrister said.

He also said when the complainant saw a doctor after the alleged assault, he claimed he had told Mr Monie he wanted to do “softcore stuff only like cuddling” before he went over.

But Mr Johnston said the complainant hadn’t made this comment on Grindr, in mobile phone texts nor in the bedroom. It might have been his intention to, but he didn’t, the barrister said.

He claimed that when the complainant spoke to the doctor, he misrepresented what the pair had talked about.

“He’s putting a limit on what was going to happen that was never discussed,” he said.

He claimed his client had appropriately asked questions and for consent.

Mr Johnston had challenged the complainant in cross-examination, raising how he had remained in Mr Monie’s bedroom and cuddled after the alleged assault.

“I felt super awkward and weird,” the complainant said.

“I hadn’t fully realised what had happened to me.”

He admitted they had consensual oral sex between the alleged incidents and when he left the home, but also claimed he had felt “so weird” and “disassociated from [his] body”.

Mr Johnston suggested what happened was consensual and asked if the allegations were a misrepresentation of what occurred, but the complainant denied these comments.

“I had told him many times… that I didn’t want to be penetrated and he didn’t listen,” the complainant alleged.

“The other times I’ve had respectful sex this has not happened.”

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In the closing address by prosecutor Skye Jerome, she argued the complainant had been a credible witness.

“I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise to hear everybody reacts differently to trauma and there is no common way for a person to react to sexual abuse,” she said.

“There are many reasons why a sexual assault victim may not immediately challenge their abuser.

“He [the complainant] was trying to work out what had occurred.”

Mr Monie has pleaded not guilty to two counts of sexual intercourse without consent.

Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson will start her summing up for the jury on Thursday (27 July) before they begin their deliberations.

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