An innocent night at the pub for Kurtley Beale sparked a year-long nightmare after he was accused of raping a woman in a toilet while her fiancé was outside in the bar.
The former Wallaby was finally acquitted of all three sexual assault charges on Friday after a two-week trial at NSW District Court.
A jury took just a few hours to clear him of the alleged sex attack at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel in December 2022.
Beale has always maintained his innocence but his alleged victim insisted she had been forcibly assaulted, as new details of the incident can now be revealed.
The 35 year old rugby star insisted the encounter was ‘entirely consensual’ and there was no criminal touching.
During the trial, very graphic evidence was given about what the woman claimed happened inside a cubicle of the pub’s men’s toilet that night.
But the court also heard the woman and her fiancé engaged in friendly banter with Beale after the alleged rape – and she even hugged him twice before leaving the bar.
Coincidentally, while the court’s verdict was being handed down in Sydney on Friday, the alleged victim and her fiancé were being wed the same day in country NSW.
Kurtley Beale had even discussed his own wedding with wife Maddi (pictured, the couple together) with the woman and her fiance at the Bondi pub where she claimed he raped her – allegations which were thrown out when a jury acquitted him on Friday
The rugby star chatted and relaxed with the woman and her fiance at the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi but the meeting turned into a nightmare for the rugby star which is only just ending with his not guilty verdicts
The three had discussed the couple’s planned nuptials, and Beale’s own wedding, as well as his wife Maddi.
The woman even showing Beale images of his own wedding that she had saved on her phone of the event, which was featured in Vogue magazine.
The court heard the woman had earlier been arguing with her fiancé and she had been worried whether their relationship had a future.
Hours before arriving at the Bondi bar, the woman texted her fiancé: ‘If you hate me what’s the point?’ and ‘Do you even still want to marry me?’, the court was told.
Just a minute later, the woman texted her partner again with just two question marks. About 10 minutes later, she sent the same message with no reply.
Under cross-examination by Beale’s barrister, Margaret Cunneen, SC, the alleged victim was asked: ‘You were getting pretty worried about your relationship?
‘You were desperate to try and turn the tables? Your relationship was going down the gurgler.’
After a seven-women and five-man returned the not guilty verdicts on Friday afternoon, Ms Cunneen told the court her client would be applying for costs.
The woman, who cannot be legally identified, had claimed Beale touched her backside and forced her to perform oral sex in a toilet cubicle.
After hearing legal directions from Judge Graham Turnbull on Friday morning, the jury deliberated for only a few hours before returning the verdicts.
A jury found Kurtley Beale not guilty of raping a woman in a toilet cubicle or sexually touching her without consent, ending a 14 month nightmare for the rugby star
Beale, 35, is not guilty on one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching after a jury acquitted him in the NSW District Court of an alleged incident at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel in December 2022
In her closing address on Thursday, Ms Cunneen argued the woman ‘concocted the sexual assault to gain sympathy from her fiancé.’
‘Ladies and gentleman, I don’t shrink from suggesting to you that [the alleged victim] is a manipulative woman who curated the circumstances of the night,’ Ms Cunneen said.
Ms Cunneen said sexual assault is a dreadful and abhorrent crime, garnering sympathy for victims from those close to them.
‘What is also a terrible thing is a false allegation of sexual assault,’ she said.
‘That’s what has happened in this case ladies and gentlemen.’
Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks said it was up to the jury whether they believe the woman’s version of events, including that she repeatedly told Beale ‘no’.
Tunks invited jurors to find the woman was ‘staunchly consistent’ in saying that she did not consent to any sexual activity with Beale.
‘The Crown case is she’s saying ‘no’ on more than one occasion,’ he said.
The jury did not believe the Crown case.