‘The truth has come out’: Wallabies star Beale NOT guilty of sexual assault
A jury has found rugby star Kurtley Beale not guilty of sexual intercourse without consent over an incident in the bathroom of a Sydney pub in 2022.
The former Wallaby playmaker was also cleared of two counts of sexual touching without consent, after a jury returned its verdict on Friday having deliberated for just over two hours.
Beale’s wife sobbed as the jury delivered not guilty verdicts to all of the charges while the rugby star hung his head in apparent relief.
Mr Beale will be making an application for costs, his lawyer told the court.
“I’ve always maintained my innocence,” Beale said as he left the court with his wife. “My family and I have suffered a terrible year, and I’m so glad that the truth has come out.”
Beale’s lawyer Margaret Cunneen SC added: “Justice was done.”
Beale was charged in January 2023 after the woman told police he touched her buttocks and forced her to perform oral sex in a toilet cubicle at Bondi’s Beach Road Hotel the previous month.
The jury rejected the woman’s account that Beale followed her into the cubicle of the toilet, removed his penis from his pants and forced it into her mouth.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said during the trial she was using the men’s toilets to avoid queues at the women’s when Beale entered and locked the cubicle.
She said she looked up to see Beale holding his flaccid penis and shaking it up and down while “suck my dick”, to which she replied “no” over and over.
The woman claimed the rugby star then grabbed her head and thrust his penis forcefully into her mouth.
One of the charges of sexual touching that was rejected by the jury was an allegation that Beale placed his hands on the woman’s hips while they were still in the cubicle and turned her around while saying, “Come on, let’s f***.”
The other sexual touching charge, for which Beale was found not guilty asserted that the rugby player touched the woman on the backside before the pair were in the cubicle together.
The woman said she was with friends and her fiance at the venue when she felt a hand move down her buttocks onto “bare skin”.
“I turn around and realise it’s Mr Beale,” she earlier told the jury.
During the trial, Cunneen labelled the alleged victim “manipulative” and asserted she had concocted the alleged rape as a way of gaining sympathy from her fiance.
Crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks invited the jury to accept the woman’s version of events that Beale engaged sexually with her despite her repeatedly telling him “no”.
Beale, who signed with the Waratahs in 2022 to return to the Super Rugby franchise for the 2023 season, missed the entire domestic campaign last year. Unable to play, he missed the chance to play at four World Cups.
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National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028