Hmmm…CCTV indicates woman approached him and reciprocated.
One of her friends was a witness and refused to give a statement.
Adjourned until October
Rugby league players Zane Musgrove and Liam Coleman plead not guilty
NRL player Zane Musgrove has pleaded not guilty to assault charges placed against him following a night out in November, 2018.
A woman felt like an NRL player was “trying to get down my throat” with his tongue before he and a friend groped her at a pub, a Sydney court has been told.
The 23-year-old said she was standing beside Zane Musgrove, 23, when he placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her towards his face at the Coogee Bay Hotel in November 2018.
“He kissed me very aggressively. I remember feeling his tongue basically trying to get down my throat,” she told Waverley Local Court on Friday. “That’s what it felt like.”
But under cross-examination, the woman agreed CCTV appeared to show her approaching Musgrove.
The former South Sydney Rabbitohs prop has pleaded not guilty to aggravated indecent assault in company, indecent assault and common assault.
He had signed to play for Wests Tigers in 2019 at the time of the alleged incident but was later denied registration by the NRL.
Then-Penrith Panthers reserve grade player Liam Coleman, the 23-year-old son of Souths great Craig Coleman, has pleaded not guilty to aggravated indecent assault in company and indecent assault.
He left the Panthers after failing to secure a full-time contract for 2019.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, says Musgrove kissed her three or four times over about 10 minutes as the pair stood at the rear of a line to the bar.
“I just froze. I felt just because of the difference in size and strength, I went into a, sort of ride it out and get out of the hold,” she said. “I don’t recall saying anything.”
Coleman, standing nearby, then turned towards the woman, “launched forward with both his hands and put them on my breasts”, she told the court. He later told her “you have nice boobs” and said that implied she must also have “nice” genitals, she said.
She says Musgrove grabbed her breast briefly, and later thrust his pubic region into her hip.
During the woman’s evidence, acting magistrate Paul Lyon warned a large group of people in the public gallery about showing emotion, insisting people had to be able to give their evidence “unfettered without a commentary, giggling or otherwise”.
Under cross-examination from Musgrove’s barrister Phillip English, the woman rejected suggestions she kissed Musgrove, reciprocated his kisses or that he didn’t kiss with his tongue.
She was then shown CCTV video and agreed that when she approached the bar, the first person she approached was Musgrove.
“Do you accept you’ve gone up and approached him?” Mr English asked. “That’s what it looks like,” the young woman replied.
She said she couldn’t say how many drinks she’d had in the two-and-a-half hours before the incident.
The court heard Musgrove claimed “that’s bullshit. I’m being stitched up” when told by a police officer a woman had made a statement about the night.
Coleman, who later met police at Maroubra station, said he couldn’t believe he was being arrested.
The lead officer in the matter, Senior Constable Kelly Gatt, told the court one of the woman’s friends refused to give a witness statement, saying he was too busy and had nothing to offer.
The complainant told the court she pinched that friend while surrounded by Coleman and Musgrove, prompting him to turn and speak to the footballers.
Craig Coleman accompanied his son into the courtroom followed by a long line of friends including NRL hall-of-famer Bob McCarthy and boxing trainer Johnny Lewis.
The hearing was adjourned until October.