Major update in bucks party gang rape trial

Andrew David, Maurice Hawell, and Marius Hawell allegedly gang raped three teens while celebrating a bucks party weekend in Newcastle. Picture: NewsWire
Andrew David, Maurice Hawell, and Marius Hawell allegedly gang raped three teens while celebrating a bucks party weekend in Newcastle. Picture: NewsWire

WARNING: Graphic details

Three men accused of gang raping three teens during a bucks party weekend will wait to learn their fate over the allegations after the jury retired to consider their verdicts.

Andrew David, 30, and brothers Maurice Hawell, 30, and Marius Hawell, 22, stood trial after pleading not guilty to counts of aggravated sexual assault in company, attempting to commit aggravated sexual assault in company and aggravated sexual touching.

The trio had rented an Airbnb in Newcastle to celebrate a bucks party for groom-to-be Maurice in February 2022 when they allegedly gang raped three teenagers in dark rooms.

Prosecutors claim the three men sexually assaulted two 18-year-old women on the Friday night after pushing them onto beds in a dark room inside the rented Airbnb.

BUCKS PARTY RAPE TRIAL
Maurice Hawell has denied gang raping three teenagers on a bucks weekend in Newcastle. Picture: NewsWire / Monique Harmer

One of the teens told the court Maurice had first entered a room where she was having consensual sex with another bucks party attendee and tried to sexually touch her without her consent.

Not long later, the two 18-year-olds told the court they went into a bedroom to retrieve their phones as they prepared to leave, but they were pushed backwards onto beds and assaulted.

One of the teens said she was forced to engage in penetrative sex with a man she couldn’t see while another man knelt on her arms and thrust his penis into her mouth.

The other teen said she was pinned to the bed beside her friend and stripped naked as a man tried to put his penis in her mouth while she was penetratively and anally raped.

Both teens testified that they were unable to identify their alleged assailants because the room was so dark.

Crown prosecutor Craig Evans alleges Maurice, Mr David and Marius participated in the alleged gang rapes, and they either knew the women didn’t consent or were reckless as to their consent.

He claims the three men were also involved in sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman the following night.

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Andrew David pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault allegations. Picture: NewsWire / Nikki Short
BUCKS PARTY RAPE TRIAL
His lawyer criticised the Crown case. Picture: NewsWire / Monique Harmer

The court was told Maurice had approached the teen on the street and persuaded her to come back to the rented Airbnb for pre-drinks but instead ushered her into a bedroom.

The teen said she was pushed onto a bed and they kissed before Mr David entered the room and Maurice asked if she wanted them to engage in a threesome.

The 19-year-old said she rejected the suggestion but Mr David pinned her to the bed by kneeling on her shoulders and forced his penis into her mouth while Maurice penetratively raped her.

She told the court she had tried to keep her legs closed but the man forced them open.

The teen said a third man, who the Crown argues is Marius, entered the room while the gang rape was occurring and used his flashlight to illuminate the sexual activity.

Maurice and Mr David maintain that all sexual activity was consensual, while Marius claims he did not participate in any of the sexual incidents during the bucks weekend.

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Marius Hawell stood trial over the gang rape claims. Picture: NewsWire / John Appleyard
BUCKS PARTY RAPE TRIAL
He denies he was inside either room on either night. Picture: NewsWire / John Appleyard

Their lawyers all cast doubt on the credibility of the alleged victims and argued their clients did not know the women were not consenting.

All three men faced a weeks-long trial in the NSW District Court over the allegations they were involved in a joint criminal enterprise that was reckless to the women’s consent.

On Thursday, Judge Gina O’Rourke reminded the jurors that they were required to assess the evidence against each accused separately.

“It is effectively three trials in one,” she said.

She also reminded the jury that the trio were presumed innocent and urged them to “keep an open mind” as they deliberate.

After a lengthy summing up by the judge, the jury retired to discuss their verdicts on Thursday afternoon.