29 December 2022

Charges dropped against Shae Elliott over alleged Grindr rape

| Albert McKnight
Man with glasses in car

Charges have been dropped against Shae Frank Charles Elliott. Photo: Facebook.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses an alleged sexual assault.

Charges accusing a man of raping a person he met on the gay dating app Grindr have been dropped, with his lawyer saying it seemed there had been “no reasonable prospect of success”.

Shae Frank Charles Elliott had already been handed a jail sentence for handcuffing and robbing a different man he met over the dating app in 2021 before he was given new charges over fresh allegations from earlier this year.

But when the 22-year-old from Kambah was brought into the ACT Magistrates Court on Wednesday (21 December), the prosecutor withdrew charges of sexual intercourse without consent and burglary in relation to the more-recent allegations.

His Legal Aid lawyer, Mr Chen, did not oppose the move but said the appropriate action should have been for the prosecution to offer no evidence for the charges.

He said the prosecution had reviewed the matter, and it seemed there was “no reasonable prospect of success”.

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Elliott still faces a charge of theft connected to the allegations which he will fight at a hearing.

Mr Chen said the ultimate issue, in that case, was whether the items were given to his client as gifts as opposed to having been stolen.

The credibility of the complainant would be an essential issue, he said.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker adjourned the theft charge for a hearing on 15 to 16 February 2023 and remanded Elliott, who is a sentenced prisoner, in custody.

Court documents for the now-dropped charges alleged the complainant initially had consensual sex with Elliott in Canberra after matching with him over the app in July 2022.

Later, on 28 July, they allegedly met up again and took ketamine and gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), even though the complainant was apprehensive about taking the latter.

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It was alleged they agreed to have sex again, but Elliott made the complainant consume an unknown amount of GHB, which made him lose consciousness within one minute.

The complainant woke up the next day feeling sick and found one used condom in his bedroom. He said he could not account for the condom so he believed sex had taken place.

Elliott handed himself in to police and told them he met the complainant over Snapchat or Grindr. He claimed that two other men had turned up at the complainant’s home on the night in question, and it “got weird”, so he left and went to the gym.

If this story has raised any concerns for you, 1800RESPECT, the national 24-hour sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling line, can be contacted on 1800 737 732. Help and support are also available through The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre 6247 2525, The Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 6280 0900, and Lifeline 13 11 14. In an emergency, call 000.

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