Ex-NRL club players ‘scared’ woman in pub
Australian Associated PressOCTOBER 14, 20195:15PM
A 23-year-old woman who says she was indecently assaulted by two rugby league players at a Sydney pub has been asked in court to watch CCTV footage of the incident and identify her dance moves.
Former South Sydney NRL prop Zane Musgrove, 23, and former Penrith reserve-grade player Liam Coleman, 23, have pleaded not guilty to aggravated indecent assault in company and indecent assault. The pair were charged after the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police Musgrove had pulled her close and repeatedly kissed her aggressively at the Coogee Bay Hotel in November 2018. The woman says Musgrove grabbed her breast briefly and later thrust his pubic region into her hip.
She previously told a court Coleman, the son of Souths great Craig Coleman, was standing nearby when this happened and “launched forward with both his hands and put them on my breasts”. Under cross-examination on Monday from Musgrove’s barrister Phillip English, the woman was taken back through six minutes of grainy, black-and-white CCTV footage capturing her interactions with the men.
Having previously said she’d felt scared and uncomfortable during the incident, Mr English asked why she hadn’t scolded the pair or walked away. The woman told the court she “froze” when the incidents occurred. “You go into survival mode if you feel scared like that,” she told Downing Centre Local Court. “I bloody wish I did (walk away).”
She hit back at suggestions she had been dancing with the men during the alleged assault. “Dancing with someone doesn’t mean that what I’m saying didn’t happen … it’s irrelevant,” she said.
“I don’t think that that was a consensual dance move. I think it looks like he’s grabbed my hands and is moving from side to side.”
Mr English continued to press the woman on her dancing. “Is that called ‘the penguin’?” he asked her of one moment in the clip, before moving on to query how well she danced while in shock.
Mr English’s line of questioning brought the woman to tears. “Like, really?” she said, before asking for a break. Mr English also asked the woman whether Musgrove could have been doing the “grind” dance move when he thrust his pubic region into her hip, to which she answered “he’s still doing it”.
During the footage Musgrove can be seen repeatedly placing his arm around the woman’s neck, pulling her towards him and kissing her.
The woman pointed out to the court the moment Coleman allegedly groped her breasts in the CCTV footage. However, the view of the alleged assault was obscured by Musgrove and cannot be seen in full. Under cross-examination the woman previously admitted she had approached Musgrove at the bar.
At the time of the incident, Musgrove had signed to play for Wests Tigers in 2019, but was later denied registration by the NRL.
As Coleman arrived at court on Monday, he used a water bottle he was carrying to squirt water at a photographer in front of him.