15 July 2021

Canberra businessman found not guilty of raping partner at work

| Albert McKnight
Start the conversation
ACT Courts

The court had heard the man and woman were in a “fairly successful business”. Photo: Albert McKnight

A prominent Canberra businessman accused of raping his partner at work has been found not guilty of all charges against him.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was cleared of all allegations in the ACT Supreme Court on Wednesday (14 July) after a two-week jury trial.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour before returning verdicts of not guilty to four charges, including one of sexual intercourse without consent.

After the verdicts were delivered, the man turned to the courtroom’s gallery and smiled at the people supporting him.

At the start of the trial, on 28 June, prosecutor Rebecca Christensen had told jurors the man’s relationship with his partner was breaking down in 2018.

READ MORE Partner allegedly raped at work by well-known Canberra businessman

She alleged he digitally raped his partner at their workplace. She also alleged he touched the woman inappropriately in a later incident after he arrived to pick up their children from her home.

The man’s barrister, Steven Whybrow of Key Chambers, had said the couple worked in a “fairly successful business”, but the end of their relationship had become “toxic”.

During Mr Whybrow’s closing arguments on Tuesday (13 July), he said the woman had given a “locked-in” version of events, which “totally fell apart”.

He said there was “a lot of material” that suggested her allegations were not truthful.

“She is the only witness who gives evidence of what happened to her in the office,” he said.

“This case didn’t happen.”

Mr Whybrow said the second alleged incident was apparently witnessed by another person, but there were “a whole lot of problems” with this person’s evidence.

He claimed texts sent between the couple showed controlling and abusive behaviour by her.

The man did not give evidence during the trial.

The case was heard before Justice Michael Elkaim and Justice John Burns.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.