A CENTRAL Victorian police officer accused of raping and assaulting his partner has been committed to stand trial.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt on Thursday determined there was sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to convict the man on 11 charges.
The officer, who The Bendigo Advertiser has been ordered not to identify, pleaded not guilty to the counts of rape, assault, intentionally causing injury, recklessly causing injury, and damaging property.
One count of intentionally damaging a mobile phone in October 2011 was struck out due to insufficient evidence.
Defence counsel Belinda Franjic told the Bendigo Magistrates' Court that the rape charge should also be struck out.
Ms Franjic said the offence was based solely on the woman's statement as there were no other witnesses to corroborate her account.
The defence counsel said there were some "serious questions" about the woman's credibility and reliability.
Ms Franjic submitted that the woman first disclosed the alleged rape to her psychologist in January 2019, about seven years after the alleged incident.
The woman then detailed the allegations to police in September of that year.
Ms Franjic said throughout the seven-year timeframe, the woman had been seeing her psychologist and disclosing other allegations of abuse.
The lawyer said she accepted there was often a delay to victims of rape disclosing sexual assaults.
But Ms Franjic questioned why the woman did not share the rape allegation at an earlier time given how forthright she was about other alleged incidents.
Prosecutor Vivienne Jones said the woman's credibility should not be questioned simply because she did not disclose the alleged rape sooner.
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Ms Jones said the woman had given a detailed statement to police, which she then maintained during her evidence to the court on Monday and Tuesday.
The prosecutor said the woman had been pregnant at the time of the alleged rape so she was very vulnerable.
Ms Jones told the magistrate the charge should be heard in a criminal trial rather than struck out at a committal hearing.
Magistrate Jonathan Klestadt agreed, saying it was "squarely a matter for the jury".
Mr Klestadt said it was implicit in the woman's evidence that she believed the police were not supportive of her when it came to disputes between her and her former partner.
The magistrate said the woman implied that the police were more interested in protecting their colleague, rather than properly investigating her allegations.
Mr Klestadt said those beliefs could explain why the woman did not disclose the sexual assault sooner.
The magistrate committed the man to stand trial in the County Court on 11 charges, including rape and assault. The man formally entered pleas of not guilty.
The police officer was bailed to appear at the County Court in January for a directions hearing.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, the Centre for Non-Violence is available on 1800 884 292. Safe Steps is a 24-hour statewide crisis line, available on 1800 015 188.
If you or someone else is in danger, call 000.
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