Former police officer Trent Christopher Birthisel, 31, (left) allegedly raped a 20-year-old woman. He faced court today.
Former police officer Trent Christopher Birthisel, 31, (left) allegedly raped a 20-year-old woman. He faced court today. Lucy Smith

UPDATE: Former police officer faces rape charges

4.28pm:

A WOMAN, 20, is giving evidence about her alleged rape.

The court is closed to the public but the woman's mother has been given leave by Judge Brian Harrison to accompany her as she faces cross-examination in the District Court in Mackay.

The trial is expected to adjourn at 4.30pm and resume tomorrow.

INITIAL:

FORMER police officer Trent Christopher Birthisel, 31, allegedly raped a 20-year-old woman after she asked the then on-duty officer for a lift home following a night of drinking.   

Crown prosecutor Belinda Merrin outlined the Crown case against Birthisel on the opening day of the trial at the District Court in Mackay today.  

He faces multiple charges of rape.   

Ms Merrin told the court that in the early hours of Sunday, February 4, 2014, the woman had asked two police officers, who were on duty, for a lift to the home she was staying at in Glenella.   

Charges against the other officer were dropped last year.   

She said the woman had been drinking at various bars and had left Karma Lounge Bar at 3.45am.   

Ms Merrin said the officers had agreed to drive her home.   

She said Birthisel had sat in the back seat of the police car with the woman and put his hand on her thigh.

The woman had then said jokingly "I wonder what it's like to be handcuffed", she told the court.   

Ms Merrin said the Crown would argue that during the car trip to the woman's house, Birthisel and the woman had had five sexual encounters, none of which had been consensual.   

She said three of the rape counts related to oral penetration, one to vaginal penetration and one to anal penetration.   

Ms Merrin said the woman had not resisted as she had been "in shock".   

She said that afterwards Birthisel had told the woman "this is our little secret" and made a "pinky promise" with her. 

Ms Merrin said that shortly after the officers had taken the woman home, she had called a taxi to take her to a friend's house.   

The taxi driver and the woman's friends are expected to give evidence at the trial.   

DNA evidence will also be presented during the trial, which resumes at 2pm today and is expected to last four days.   


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