Man not guilty of raping employee at Xmas party

By DARRYN NUFER

A MAN charged with raping a much younger female employee at a work Christmas party at a Yeppoon resort was yesterday found not guilty.

The man, who owns a Central Queensland childcare centre, had tears in his eyes after a Rockhampton District Court jury returned its verdict at 5.10pm.

It took them an hour and 15 minutes to reach the decision.

Outside the court, the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would only say: "Make it a good story,'' before leaving with his defence barrister Ross Lo Monaco and his instructing solicitor David Mills.

It had been alleged the rape took place in a unit at Rydges Capricorn Resort in 2003.

A witness, who had slept in the twin beds room in question, had told the court that on the night of the alleged incident she heard "ruffling and muffled voices'' which appeared to be coming from the bed next to hers, which was to be occupied by the complainant.

The witness had said she lay facing the opposite direction and did not turn around and look in respect of their privacy.

She had said she thought her room mate was either having sex or "mucking around''.



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