Content warning: sexual assault
Following a week-long trial, Jean Claude Perrottet, the brother of NSW Finance Minister Dominic Perrottet, has been found not guilty of three counts of sexual assault that were alleged to have taken place following a St John’s College formal in 2015.
The jury delivered their not guilty verdict before the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, after deliberating for less than two hours.
Perrottet, now 20 years old, was accused of having non-consensual digital, oral and penile-vaginal sex with a 19-year-old woman on University of Sydney grounds, in an area known as the Lemon Grove.
According to the defence, the first two incidents were consensual, and that the penile-vaginal sex never happened, allegedly because it was “against” Perrottet’s religion.
The case centred on the issue of alcohol and the fact that both parties had been drinking heavily prior to the alleged incident, drawing into question the reliability of both the complainant’s and defendant’s recollection.
Police photo showing where the sexual acts are alleged to have occurred.
“I was drinking a lot, like a lot more than I would normally drink,” the complainant, who cannot be identified, told police the night of the alleged incident.
Perrottet instant messaged his friends during the days following the party, discussing how he was “pretty drunk”, with one message stating: “Yeah fuck man, I can’t get that drunk, when I get that drunk my morals leave.”
The verdict comes just weeks after the results of an Australian Human Rights Commission survey into sexual assault and harassment in university settings were released, showing that 1.6 per cent of all students were sexually assaulted on university grounds between 2015 and 2016.