Men plead not guilty to gang rape

TWO men accused of taking part in the gang rape of a drunken teenage girl in a luxury Brisbane hotel admit to having group sex but insist it was consensual, a court has heard.

In the Brisbane District Court today, Senad Catic, 23, and Sreten Djuric, 20, pleaded not guilty to raping a 17-year-old girl on July 7, 2007.

The court heard the girl had travelled to Brisbane from the Gold Coast for the night to party with friends.

In his opening address, crown prosecutor Phil McCarthy said the girl met the two men and their friends after being admitted to the Fridays nightclub with a fake ID.

The court heard that at 1.17am the girl went to a room on the 24th floor of a Brisbane CBD hotel with Mr Djuric, Mr Catic and one of their male friends.

Mr McCarthy said that upon arrival the girl had consensual sex with the third male, before passing out with a blood alcohol reading estimated to be around 0.165 per cent.

The crown alleges that when she awoke, up to three men were sexually assaulting her in the room, which had been hired for a going-away party.

Mr McCarthy said the girl then went to the bathroom to try to force herself to vomit, before returning to the bedroom helped by “one nice guy” in the apartment and passing out again.

The same man repeatedly went into the bedroom to tell Mr Djuric to stop having sex with her because she “was wasted”, Mr McCarthy said.

The crow alleges the girl drifted in and out of consciousness and was too drunk to say no to the men’s advances.

The court heard a female witness would testify that later in the night she saw a group of men peering through the window of the bedroom and laughing at the girl while she was being assaulted.

The court heard that in a police interview Mr Catic said the girl was moaning during group sex.

“You know, in pleasure, mate,” the court heard he said.

Mr Catic’s barrister Greg McGuire said video footage proved his client was in the room for only about 26 minutes before leaving at 1.44am.

He said the same video footage showed the girl was in an “absolutely fine” state when she first entered the hotel.

“She may not have done things she would have done when she was sober. But that’s not a basis for a criminal conviction,” Mr McGuire said.

Mr Djuric’s defence barrister Mal Harrison also argued that all sex on the night was consensual.

“There’s no doubt there was group sex,” Mr Harrison said.

“But that’s not the issue”

Both defence barristers also told the jury that a secret listening device had recorded a conversation between Mr Djuric and Mr Catic in their native tongue while in custody which proved they hadn’t colluded on their testimonies.

The trial continues.

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