The trial continues for NRL star Jack de Belin. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
The trial continues for NRL star Jack de Belin. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

Star’s accuser ‘blank’ after alleged rape

WARNING: Graphic content

A woman accusing NRL star Jack de Belin and friend Callan Sinclair of raping her at a North Wollongong unit told her boss at work the next day the footballers "wouldn't let me leave", a court been told.

The St George Illawarra Dragons forward and Mr Sinclair stand accused of sexually assaulting the woman, then 19, after the trio met at Wollongong's popular Mr Crown bar during a Christmas pub crawl in 2018.

Their District Court retrial has been told of allegations from the woman that she felt "dead inside" and was crying as the men swapped positions forcing vaginal, oral and anal sex on her at a Gipps Street unit in the early hours of December 9, 2018.

Mr de Belin, 30, and Mr Sinclair, 23, of the Shellharbour Sharks, have both pleaded not guilty to five counts of aggravated sexual assault and maintain the encounter with the woman was consensual.

Jack de Belin (centre) has denied wrongdoing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
Jack de Belin (centre) has denied wrongdoing. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

On Friday, a witness who managed a venue where the woman worked told the court the woman turned up in the afternoon after the incident with smudged make-up and puffy eyes before telling her "I think I was raped".

Maddison Harris said the woman was "excited" when she left work about 9pm on December 8, 2018, but was not her usual self when she returned for a shift the next day.

"Normally, she would come in, say hello to everyone on her way in, be quite smiley or cheery," Ms Harris said. "(On that day she was) just blank. Just sort of walked straight past everybody."

During her shift the woman appeared "distracted" and left the restaurant floor to check her phone on multiple occasions, Ms Harris said, which drew her attention.

Callan Sinclair who played for the Shellharbour Sharks. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw
Callan Sinclair who played for the Shellharbour Sharks. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Damian Shaw

She found the woman speaking with another colleague in the scullery, where Ms Harris said the woman told her something to the effect of "last night they wouldn't let me leave, they were taking my shirt off".

"She said, 'They wouldn't let me leave last night, I didn't want to go back'. 'They tried to take my shirt', and 'I think I was raped'," Ms Harris told the court.

The court was told the woman left work after Ms Harris told her she needed to report the incident to police.

Mr de Belin's barrister David Campbell SC took Ms Harris to a statement she gave police on January 2, 2019, which detailed her conversation with the woman.

According to the statement, the woman told Ms Harris: "I went out last night. I went to Mr Crown. When I was leaving I was told by a few of the guys I knew to go back to theirs. I didn't really want to but I did because I thought we were going straight out afterwards."

The men maintain the sex was consensual. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett
The men maintain the sex was consensual. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Joel Carrett

When asked by Mr Campbell, Ms Harris agreed that her memory of the conversation she had with the woman would have been clearer when she made the statement to police in January 2019.

In her evidence before the jury, the woman claimed she believed she was going straight to nearby nightclub Fever when she left Mr Crown with Mr De Belin and Mr Sinclair.

The jury was told the trio caught a tuktuk back to the unit of Mr de Belin's cousin, but the woman claimed she did not know where they were going until arriving at Gipps Street.

The trial continues before Judge Nicole Noman.

Originally published as Star's accuser 'blank' after alleged rape



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