Jury deliberations begin in Wallabies star Kurtley Beale’s sexual assault case

A jury will deliberate whether to find Wallabies star Kurtley Beale guilty or innocent of an sexual assault in a Sydney bar bathroom following a weeks-long trial.

Mr Beale, 35, faced a jury trial at Sydney’s Downing Centre Court after pleading not guilty to sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching.

Police allege Mr Beale groped a woman’s bottom at the Beach Road bar in Bondi on December 17, 2022, before forcing her into oral sex in the stall of the men’s bathroom.

After almost three weeks of evidence, the jury of seven women and five men were sent out on Friday for deliberation by Justice Graham Turnbull.

In her closing address, Mr Beale’s barrister Margaret Cunneen claimed the woman was “in control” of the encounter and used the allegation to get sympathy from her fiance.

Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks told the jury that the Crown would have to prove the act, that the woman did not consent, and that Mr Beale knew she did not or was reckless with it.

In her evidence, the woman told the jury that Mr Beale had been “forceful” and “desperate” when pleading for sex before barging in on her in the bathroom stall.

The jury was shown a wide range of evidence, with a secretly recorded phone call during which the woman put the allegations to Mr Beale being a large focus in the case.

In the call, Mr Beale stated the pair had “hooked up” before later admitting when pressed by the woman that she had said no and he had “misjudged the situation”.

Of the call, Ms Cunneen said: “Mr Beale genuinely believed she had given and communicated consent … When she spoke something different (he) says he must have misread it.”

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