The jury in the trial of an out gay Queensland man, accused of raping his female friend, was disbanded on Friday after it failed to arrive at a majority verdict.
Trigger Warning: This story discusses a sexual assault, which might be distressing to some readers. For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.
Judge Catherine Muir of the Brisbane District Court discharged the jury and scheduled the matter for July 14, 2022, when the court will decide on a retrial in the case.
The jury, comprised of seven men and five women, deliberated for around 10 hours on whether 28-year-old Dominic Hansson was guilty of raping his female friend in her inner city Brisbane apartment on December 7, 2019 . The jury informed the judge that they were unable to arrive at an unanimous decision. They were then asked to arrive at a majority verdict of 11, The Courier Mail reported.
Hanson Says Sex Was Consensual
The victim had alleged that Hansson had turned up at her door around 1.30 am on December 7, 2019, and asked to be let in. She let him in on the condition that he would sleep on the couch.
According to the prosecution, Hansson insisted on sleeping in the bed. He reportedly told the woman not to worry and that she would be “safe” as he was gay. Hansson then allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, despite her pleas to stop.
Hansson maintained his innocence and claimed that the sex was “consensual”.
Prosecution Calls Hansson A ‘Narcissist’
Hansson did not testify in the case, nor did he call a defence witness. In his interview with the police, Hansson said that he had asked the female friend if she wanted to have sex and she had agreed to it.
Hansson at the time had a long-term live-in partner. Hansson said he was “curious” and wondered “whether I was in fact actually gay.”
Hansson’s lawyers said that the woman had reported the alleged sexual assault to police after four months in April 2021. The defence claimed that the woman had lodged the complaint either out of shame over sleeping with her gay friend or as an act of “vengeance” to get back at Hansson for calling her an “escort” and objecting to her use of marijuana.
The prosecution called Hansson a “narcissist”, who treated the victim “like an object”.
If you feel distressed reading the story, you can reach out to support services.
For 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14
For Australia-wide LGBTQI peer support call QLife on 1800 184 527 or webchat.