'Swarm of people': trio face bucks-trip gang rape trial

On a bucks weekend to celebrate an upcoming marriage, three Sydney men agreed to bring women into their rented AirBnB and rape them together, a jury has heard.

Maurice Hawell, 30, Marius Hawell, 22, and Andrew David, 30, are standing trial over alleged sexual crimes committed against three teenage women at a Newcastle rented apartment in February 2022.

The bucks weekend began on a Friday and was organised before Maurice's upcoming wedding, jurors at Sydney's Downing Centre District Court heard on Wednesday.

Maurice, his younger brother Marius and seven other men stayed at the AirBnB and visited a nearby pub, where they met and asked a number of women back to the three-bedroom apartment, crown prosecutor Craig Evans said.

On the Friday, two of the women agreed to go back to the unit, where consensual sex with Maurice, David and another man who has not been criminally charged took place, the court heard.

Afterwards, the two women discussed leaving before going to retrieve their phones from a darkened bedroom, Mr Evans said.

They were then allegedly pushed onto the bed, stripped and forced to have sex with at least three men.

One of the women would describe the alleged assault "as a swarm of people on her", jurors heard.

Describing exactly who performed which sexual act was impossible because the room was dark, but prosecutors allege the three men were engaged in a joint criminal agreement to rape and sexually touch the women.

"She felt scared and trapped," Mr Evans said of one of the complainants.

The woman later told friends she "just had an orgy" to try and brush the event off as something funny and get on with her life, he told the court.

A third alleged victim was brought into the flat the following night after Maurice followed her down the street from the bar, grabbing her hand as she reached his door, Mr Evans said.

After agreeing to go into the apartment for drinks, the woman said she was led into a darkened bedroom where she was raped by Maurice and David, who took turns swapping sexual positions.

Part-way through, Marius came into the room and watched, Mr Evans told the court.

The woman wanted to leave but felt too scared and started to have a panic attack, the prosecutor said.

At one point, she saw the flashlight from a mobile phone in the dark and thought she was being filmed, the jury was told.

The woman called triple-zero and police that night, leading to an investigation and the arrest of the three accused.

Each of the men has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges, including sexual intercourse without consent, sexual touching without consent and attempted sexual touching without consent.

Barristers Richard Pontello SC and Sharyn Hall SC, representing Maurice Hawell and Andrew David respectively, told jurors their clients had sex with the three women but it was entirely consensual.

Barrister Scott Corish said his client, Marius Hawell, denied taking part in any sexual activity, noting that prosecutors claimed he was always fully clothed but still part of a joint agreement.

The trial before Judge Gina O'Rourke continues.

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