Men charged with rape released on bail

TWO local men have been granted bail after they were arrested for allegedly raping a backpacker.

A 28-year-old Jubilee Pocket man and a 44-year-old Mandalay man appeared in custody in the Proserpine Magistrate's Court this morning, facing charges of rape, supplying dangerous drugs and entering a dwelling with intent at night.

Police prosecutor Elizabeth Smith said the victim had undergone a medical examination which indicated injuries including scratches to her forearms and legs in addition to swelling around her neck.

According to Ms Smith, these injuries were consistent with acts of violence alleged by the victim but disputed by the two men.

Ms Smith also said the victim fled the Jubilee Pocket address where the rape allegedly occurred, running naked onto the road, from where she was picked up by a passenger in a passing taxi.

Defence solicitor Cleo Rewald read parts of a witness statement provided by the passenger, who ordered the driver to stop the car immediately and pick-up the distressed victim.

"Two guys have my wallet, phone, everything," Ms Rewald read from the statement, adding "there's no comment of rape".

"It's that she saw her (the victim) running to the middle of the street in a residential area… she had no top on or shorts and she was hyperventilating," she said.

The witness gave the victim her shirt before asking the taxi driver to take her to the police station.

The two men charged with the alleged rape were arrested on Monday and appeared in the Bowen court on Tuesday when they were refused bail.

During their re-appearance in person at the Proserpine Court this morning, magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist conceded neither of the men had any history of a like nature.

"(Therefore) not withstanding what I believe to be a very strong case against you both, I'll be granting bail with conditions," he said.

The two men must report to Cannonvale Police Station, not go within 100m of the complainant or make contact with her, submit to random drug and alcohol testing, surrender their passports and they must not make contact with each other.

Mr Stjernqvist said the men must not attend any licensed venues within the Airlie Beach Safe Night Precinct between 7pm and 6am.

Both men will be back in court on February 1, 2016, when the matter will be moved to a higher court.


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