Yachtsman denies raping hired help

A YACHTSMAN has denied raping a young Sunshine Coast woman during the 1980s after he used the promise of work to lure her aboard his vessel.

John Collins, 76, pleaded not guilty to raping the woman on February 14, 1986 while his yacht was moored at Laurie's Marina at Kawana.

Crown prosecutor David Nardone told the court the woman, then 17, had met Mr Collins shortly after she moved to Maroochydore to find work.

He said Mr Collins struck up a conversation with the woman on the street before offering her a job as a receptionist at a hotel/motel he owned at Alexandra Headlands.

"She was looking for work and it fell into her lap," he said.

"Two days later she went to the motel but was told John Collins had been called down to his yacht at the marina.

"She was told to go and meet him there."

Mr Nardone said Mr Collins told the woman that he was about to embark on a sailing trip through the Great Barrier Reef.

He said Mr Collins asked the woman whether she wanted to come along and provide assistance to his young son who would also be making the journey.

"She agreed in part and he cracked open a bottle of champagne to celebrate, but the woman did not drink any at first," he said.

"A short time later he forced himself on top of her and raped her.

"After he finished she fled the yacht and drove to Point Cartwright where she sat on the beach for several hours before going back to where she was staying with family."

Mr Nardone said the woman held on to the secret for more than a decade before she contacted CrimeStoppers in 2000 to tell authorities what happened to her.

Mr Collins, who is representing himself, was not allowed to cross-examine the woman under state law when she provided her evidence on Monday afternoon in closed court.

Barrister Chris Minnery cross-examined the woman on Mr Collins's behalf before removing himself from the proceedings.

The trial before Judge Sarah Bradley continues.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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