Student in rape case 'was taking advantage': Woman 'unconscious' during intercourse after drunken party

A STUDENT took advantage of a fellow undergraduate's drunken stupor to secure the sexual contact she had previously refused him, an Old Bailey jury was told yesterday.

Austen Donnellan, 21, a graduate of King's College, London, denies raping the woman, also 21, after a drunken Christmas party last year. She has alleged that she awoke in bed in her hall of residence to find Mr Donnellan, a 'sweet' trusted friend, having oral sex and then raping her.

Rhyddian Willis, for the prosecution, said in cross- examination: 'You took advantage of her. You knew that she was not sexually attracted to you . . . She had been with others, but never with you.'

Miss Willis continued: 'You knew that she would never consent to sexual intercourse with you. In the early hours, when she was unconscious, you started performing oral sex with her, you penetrated her and when her eyes opened you rolled off.'

The court earlier heard how Mr Donnellan had met and become friends with the girl at the end of their first year. During the next academic year they grew closer and met frequently at the Penthouse, a club in the grounds of King's College hospital.

'The Penthouse is a fairly rowdy and wild establishment full of students, doctors, dentists and nurses,' Mr Donnellan said. 'It's a place people go to let their hair down and is regarded by many as a good 'pulling' place.'

At the club, he said, they would become passionate with each other, and, at her initiative, share 'French kisses, touching tongues and feeling each other's bodies'.

He admitted that he fell in love with the woman. But in spite of their regular kissing, she insisted they remain 'good friends'. The girl would frequently confide in him, relaying intimate details of her sexual encounters.

By the end of the year, Mr Donnellan said, he tired of the pattern of their friendship and he lost interest. 'She may say one time: 'You're a really close friend. I don't want to spoil that by having a relationship.' Then the next week the kissing would begin again.'

But Mr Donnellan denied taking advantage of the woman and accused her of lying. 'This was not a dead piece of meat I was having sex with. This idea she was in a drunken stupor is a lie. She can remember a lot of things. I think she was very aware of what was happening. If I felt that she was not aware, I would not have proceeded with sex. That is why I asked her on a number of occasions.'

The court also heard how it was Mr Donnellan who called in police to investigate the allegations. King's College had originally wanted to cut a deal with Mr Donnellan, but he refused. 'I felt I had done nothing wrong, I felt that I should not suffer by having a lesser charge accepted on my side which would mean I would have to leave college.'

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