7 December 2022

Doctor alleged to have sexually assaulted nurse after Christmas party accused of making up 'a fantasy'

| Albert McKnight
man on phone leaving court

Imran Kader leaves Canberra’s courts on Tuesday (6 December) during his trial. Photo: Albert McKnight.

CONTENT WARNING: This article discusses an alleged sexual assault.

A doctor alleged to have sexually assaulted a nurse he had just met at a Christmas party in 2019 denied creating “a story” about the alleged incident, although a prosecutor has attacked his account and accused him of making up “a fantasy”.

Jurors in the ACT Supreme Court trial against Imran Kader, which began in November 2022, have already heard he and the complainant had gone to his apartment after they met.

While there, the then-36-year-old allegedly pressed an electric toothbrush against her genitals, forcefully pushed her onto a bed, kissed her body, performed oral sex and digitally raped her.

Kader testified himself on Tuesday (6 December), telling jurors that he had moved from Canberra to Newcastle after the alleged incident and had worked at a dog food factory on the Central Coast for a time but was now unemployed.

In cross-examination from Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Christensen SC, he admitted he hoped the complainant wanted to have sex with him when he invited her back to his apartment, even though she had been a “stranger” to him until about an hour beforehand.

He said he kissed her, digitally penetrated her and performed oral sex on her with her consent, claiming she also kissed him as well. But he denied using an electric toothbrush on her or pushing her onto the bed.

“I did not push her onto the bed. I did have the intention to have sex with her, but consensually,” he said.

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When asked whether he was recalling the evidence he had already given, Ms Christensen asked, “You don’t want to get your story wrong, do you?”

“It’s not a story; it’s what happened,” Kader replied.

He is fighting two counts of sexual intercourse without consent and committing an act of indecency without consent, as well as a single count of sexual assault in the third degree.

Jurors have already heard from the complainant, who alleged that Kader fell off the bed during the incident, so she grabbed his face in her hands to “see if I could reason with him”.

“I grabbed his face and told him to stop … he just looked at me blankly and kept trying,” she alleged.

“[I said], ‘Stop. You’re married. Stop’.”

During Ms Christensen’s closing address that started on Tuesday before continuing on Wednesday (7 December), she said the complainant claimed she told Kader to stop, pushed him away and she didn’t want to have sex.

She attacked his account of what happened when the pair met and in the apartment, suggesting it was “entirely a fantasy” that he “created in his own mind”.

“The only person saying it happened in the way the accused said is the accused,” she alleged.

The complainant claimed that at one stage after they met, Kader “grabbed me by the hand and led me outside”.

“He pushed me against a cab that was out the front … then opened the door and pushed me into it,” she alleged.

Ms Christensen said, according to Kader’s version, they had flirted, then, in a “matter of minutes”, she agreed to go to his apartment, even though the complainant had reported she’d never gone back to a stranger’s home before.

“Was she so drunk that she’d act this way, contrary to her typical behaviour?” Ms Christensen questioned.

She argued the complainant’s version was more plausible when looking at the context of what happened and said she expected the jury’s decision would come down to whether or not jurors accepted her account.

In the closing address from barrister James Maher, representing Kader, he claimed the complainant had gone “willingly” into his client’s apartment where they continued kissing.

He claimed things had got a bit “clumsy”, and Kader had dropped her onto the bed, but she “dusts herself off” and they continued their consensual activity.

Mr Maher also claimed the complainant had given “every indication” she was consenting, then “when she does tell him to stop, it’s when she’s discovered that he’s married” because she spotted his wedding ring and a photograph.

He accepted the complainant was upset when she left the apartment, arguing it was because she’d realised the man she’d gone home with was married, and she was concerned about what others would think.

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Kader has already pleaded guilty to a count of perjury. But he is also fighting a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice. That charge alleges he contacted a witness earlier this year and tried to get her to change her evidence to make it more favourable to him.

Ms Christensen said he allegedly contacted the woman to say there was an “issue” in her evidence about a dog and her statement “would put him in jail”.

She alleged he was “persistent” and “desperate” in his attempts to get her to make changes.

Mr Maher said it was not illegal for his client to contact the woman and the issue was whether or not he intended to pervert the course of justice.

The case is being heard before Chief Justice Lucy McCallum. The 12 jurors will begin their deliberations after Justice McCallum’s summation.

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 is also available through The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre 02 6247 2525, The Domestic Violence Crisis Service ACT 02 6280 0900, and Lifeline: 13 11 14. In an emergency call 000.

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