A 21st BIRTHDAY party in 2016 at rural Balmoral, Victoria, is at the centre of a trial being heard by a jury at Bendigo County Court this week.
Shaun Phillip Bloomfield, aged 27, and Luke John Merryfull, also 27, have been charged with rape, following allegations they assaulted a woman who was also at the party.
Prosecutor, barrister David Cordy, said the woman had been expected to stay at a caravan at the property on April 3, 2016.
The court was told that the two men had allegedly entered the caravan and had sexual intercourse with her.
Mr Bloomfield and Mr Merryfull have both pleaded not-guilty to the charges against them.
Mr Bloomfield has been charged with two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. Mr Merryfull has been charged with one count of rape.
Each of the defendants was represented by a barrister in court on Monday.
This is not a documentary or a true crime podcast.- Richard Edney,
The defence barrister for Mr Bloomfield, Rishi Nathwani, said he did not dispute that his client attended the party, nor that there had been alcohol at the celebrations.
He said Mr Bloomfield accepted that he had engaged in sexual activity with the woman, while Mr Merryfull was present inside the caravan.
However, he said Mr Bloomfield allegedly thought the woman had agreed to the sexual intercourse.
"At all reasonable times he believed she was consenting," Mr Nathwani said.
Mr Nathwani said morality was not on trial and that a threesome in a caravan may not fit within the "moral compass" of the individual jurors hearing the case.
However, he said that would not be relevant to their assessment of the facts of the case.
Mr Merryfield's barrister, Richard Edney, told the jury that they should not compare their role as jurors to any media they may have previously seen or heard.
"This is not a documentary or a true crime podcast," he said.
"It's something very serious where the prosecution has to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt."
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Mr Cordy said the prosecution case, in order to be successful, would need to show that the men had intentionally committed the alleged assaults and that the woman had not consented to the acts.
He said the prosecution would also need to show that the men did not reasonably believe she consented to the sexual activities.
The trial, at the Bendigo County Court, will continue today before Judge Mark Dean.
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