Rape trial hears Indigenous tour guide offered to help alleged victims with fertility, trauma – ABC News

An Indigenous tour guide accused of raping multiple women over a number of years was in a consenting sexual relationship with the prosecution's lead witness when the alleged offences occurred, a West Australian court has heard.

WARNING: This story contains graphic details of alleged sexual assaults that readers may find distressing.

Joseph Luke Williams is facing 12 charges of sexual penetration without consent and two charges of indecent assault, all of which he has denied.

On the second day of his trial in Albany District Court, the jury heard evidence from a Denmark woman who alleged Mr Williams sexually assaulted her over a period of several months in 2010 and 2011.

The complainant, who said she was trying to conceive a child with her husband at the time, told the court that Mr Williams acted under the pretence that his actions were traditional fertility rituals.

Under questioning from Mr Williams's defence lawyer, Bruno Illari, the woman said she had met the accused at a public event in 2010.

She told the court she accepted Mr Williams's offer to try and improve her fertility using traditional Aboriginal methods after confiding that she was having trouble falling pregnant.

The woman said Mr Williams later sexually assaulted her during a camping trip at Mount Trio, in the Stirling Range National Park.

She also told the court that on another occasion Mr Williams assaulted her with an act he described as a "birthing preparation ceremony".

The complainant, who was pregnant by that time, also alleged that on another occasion Mr Williams had tricked her into believing he could induce her to lactate.

Mr Illari put it to the woman that Mr Williams had never promoted himself to her or any of his alleged victims as an Aboriginal elder or a person with specific knowledge of traditional healing practices.

Mr Illari suggested the complainant had been in a consensual relationship with the accused at the time and said she had continued to associate with him in private and in public throughout the period, even after the alleged offences had occurred.

He told the court the pair had consensual sex "several" times, including during bush tours, on a trip to Broome, and at complainant's house.

Mr Illari told the court that the complainant was "infatuated" with the defendant and only made the allegations after Mr Williams began a relationship with another woman, making her jealous.

The jury was shown a photograph of the witness and four friends taken by Mr Williams in the Stirling Range National Park.

Each of the women was naked and wearing body paint at a supposed sacred site.

Mr Illari said the photograph, which showed the witness smiling and appearing to look at ease, was inconsistent with her claim that she had been uncomfortable being naked in a group setting.

But the complainant denied all suggestions she was a willing participant in a sexual relationship with Mr Williams.

She said she had been convinced the defendant was an expert on traditional Aboriginal ceremonies and rituals and was a person she had respected.

She denied having sex with Mr Williams other than during the Mount Trio camping trip, which she said she only permitted under the belief he was performing a traditional fertility ritual.

The witness told the court she had never been sexually attracted to Mr Williams.

She also denied she had reported the defendant to police out of jealousy.

The woman told the court she made the report as a "last resort" and had been concerned about the impact of the allegations on the "good people in his family".

She said she made the decision to come forward after Mr Williams showed no remorse for his alleged crimes when she confronted him during a chance encounter years later.

A second woman who alleged Mr Williams sexually assaulted her after offering to use traditional methods to "help" with headaches and trauma she suffered from childhood sexual abuse also took the stand on Wednesday afternoon.

She told the court Mr Williams arrived at her house one day after drinking at a neighbour's house and was allowed in after he introduced himself.

She said he described himself as a "law man" and that roughly two weeks later he took her to "a special women's place" on the Hay River, near Denmark, where he said he would be able to treat her anxiety.

There, she alleged, he asked her to strip naked to be like the "traditional Noongar girls" and painted "healing symbols" on her body.

The court heard several other trips occurred across the region that the woman said she understood to be for the purpose of performing traditional healing rituals.

The complainant said the trips included several more visits to the same area of the Hay River.

She told the court that on one occasion Mr Williams asked her to lie in the dirt and then he rubbed oil on her upper body, including her breasts.

During another visit to the area, the woman said she and Mr Williams stripped naked and that he held her afloat in the water and touched her back with a "vibrating" stone.

She told the court they later visited the Mount Lindesay National Park north of Denmark and that Mr Williams had her strip naked before he rubbed an oiled stone across her body.

She said on that occasion that he unexpectedly pushed the stone inside her.

The complainant said she ceased contact with Mr Williams after an alleged incident at the Stirling Range National Park.

She told the court Mr Williams performed a similar act with a rock and then suggested they have sexual intercourse.

Mr Illari questioned the woman's memory of the events and told the court that she too had willingly entered into a sexual relationship with Mr Williams.

Mr Illari said the allegations involving the stones were fabricated.

He said the second complainant had consented to having intercourse with Mr Williams at Mount Lindesay and in the Stirling Range National Park.

The woman disagreed with Mr Illari's suggestions.

At the conclusion of the day's proceedings, prosecutor Beau Sertorio said he expected to conclude the state's case on or about February 24.

The trial, presided over by Judge Christopher Peter Stevenson, continues.

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Rape trial hears Indigenous tour guide offered to help alleged victims with fertility, trauma - ABC News

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