Rape victim ‘thought she was going to die’

A WOMAN who was allegedly raped by a fellow partygoer after a Triple J Hottest 100 gathering was "distraught, shaking, sobbing" less than an hour after the attack, her sister has told the Southport District Court.

Harley Gene Lewis has pleaded not guilty to one count each of rape and sexual assault.

It is alleged he picked the woman up, took her to a bedroom, tied her hands together and held a hand to her neck before performing oral sex about 4am on January 27 last year.

He claims the sexual encounter was consensual.

Harley Gene Lewis Picture Mike Batterham
Harley Gene Lewis Picture Mike Batterham

The woman's sister told the jury of seven women and five men this morning she was woken by her sister sobbing just minutes after the attack.

"She was petrified, distraught, shaking, sobbing. I can't even describe the way that she cried … I've never heard crying like that before," the woman's sister said.

The sister told the court the woman told her what allegedly happened, including that Lewis had choked her by placing a hand over her neck.

"She said it was the point she couldn't breathe," the sister said.

"She said she thought she was going to die."

Harley Gene Lewis. Picture Mike Batterham
Harley Gene Lewis. Picture Mike Batterham

The sister told the court the woman said she put on a brave face when Lewis was looking at her but when he was not she was holding back tears.

"She said that he whispered into her ear: 'Don't tell me what to do or you'll regret it'," the sister told the court.

The sister told the jury she had gone to bed prior to the woman and Lewis, and had left them talking in the back yard.

"She said that after I left, not straight away, after a while Harley said to her that his dad is a murderer and he has chopped people's fingers off before and that he has anger problems," the sister told the court.

The sister said when she suggested that she would confront Lewis, the woman begged her not to.

Harley Gene Lewis. Picture Mike Batterham
Harley Gene Lewis. Picture Mike Batterham

The pair then decided to wake up their other sister.

The second sister, who gave evidence via telephone, said the night before the alleged attack, nothing had appeared unusual.

She said she left her two sisters chatting to her husband and Lewis about midnight before going to bed.

She told the court that despite alcohol being involved, she believed the woman would be safe.

"It was quite a normal situation to leave. There were no falling over, there were no weird conversations," she said.

The woman's brother-in-law said he saw the woman the next morning and she appeared "petrified".

The trial continues.



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