Kurtley Beale’s Trial Begins: Lawyer Urges Jurors to Keep an Open Mind on Sexual Assault Allegations

SYDNEY, Australia – As Kurtley Beale’s trial begins at the Downing Centre District Court, his lawyer urges jurors to approach the case with an open mind. Beale, an accomplished utility back for the Wallabies and Waratahs, is facing allegations of sexual assault after being charged with one count of sexual intercourse without consent and two counts of sexual touching without consent. The incident in question allegedly took place at a pub in Bondi’s Beach on December 18, 2022, where the 35-year-old is accused of forcing a 28-year-old woman to engage in oral sex with him in the bar’s toilets.

Beale, who has represented Australia in 95 Tests, arrived at court accompanied by his wife, Maddi. Represented by defense lawyer Margaret Cunneen, Beale’s case has attracted significant attention due to his status as a sports star. Cunneen, during empanelment on Monday, cautioned the jury against arriving at premature conclusions based on stereotypes. She stressed the importance of evaluating the evidence solely within the context of this case, without being influenced by past experiences involving other individuals and athletes.

Cunneen also noted that the available CCTV footage contradicts some of the alleged victim’s claims, suggesting that she followed Beale into the toilet rather than the other way around. She emphasized the importance of keeping an open mind until all the evidence is presented during the trial. On the other hand, crown prosecutor Jeff Tunks alleged that Beale had placed his penis in the woman’s mouth while inside the men’s bathroom cubicle.

To ensure a fair trial, twelve jurors were selected out of the pool of 54 potential jurors. Presided over by Justice Graham Turnbull, the Sydney court will hear the case, which includes seven women and five men on the jury.

This trial raises significant questions about consent, power dynamics, and the responsibility of public figures to uphold ethical behavior. As the trial continues, it is crucial for the justice system to diligently examine the evidence presented, enabling a fair and unbiased verdict.