Man denies raping sleeping teen at party

THE trial of a man accused of raping a 17-year-old while she slept in his swag at a party has begun in the Warwick District Court.

Jackson Peter Fairbairn was supported by eight family members during yesterday's proceedings.

The now 21-year-old has pleaded not guilty to assaulting the young woman at a party just outside Warwick in 2015, when he was aged 19.

Crown Prosecutor Nick McGhee told the jurors Fairbairn and the alleged victim knew of each other and had spoken at the party.

"It was one of your classic outdoor parties on a property," he said.

"She chatted with the defendant and importantly there was a conversation with him about how she had forgotten to take her swag to the party.

"He offered for her to sleep in his swag, and he would sleep in his ute."

Mr McGhee said the young woman later woke to find herself undressed, lying on her stomach and with a heavy weight on her.

Late yesterday, jurors heard from the alleged victim in a closed court, while a screen was erected in front of Fairbairn to block him from her view.

The Kumbai man's defence barrister Scott Lynch did not object to the screen, accepting the alleged victim suffered anxiety.

The trial is expected to last a week, and will feature 13 further witnesses including police officers, friends of the woman and forensic specialists.

The jury will also hear from the young woman's then-boyfriend and a friend in whom she confided about the alleged crime.

A jury of four women and eight men have been empanelled to decide the case. Judge David Andrews will preside over the proceedings.

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