THE rape case against rugby league player Anthony Laffranchi has heard of a secretly recorded conversation, in which his alleged victim was thanked. The woman, who cannot be named, told the Burwood Local Court she used her mobile phone to make the recording moments after she woke up in a strange Sydney apartment in September 2006.
The 26-year-old said she became distressed after she went to the bathroom to discover her vagina was “red and sore”, and her black shorts were inside-out. “I remember waking up on September 4 at about 8am … I was on a lounge with a brown doona cover over me … I was quite dazy,” the woman said today. “I’ve gotten up from my chair and gone into the bathroom and I realised that my pants were inside-out. “In fear, I was so scared, I pushed record on my mobile phone as I was walking out of the bathroom.”
The court then heard details of the phone recording, in which an unidentified man is heard to say “thanks for the orgasm”. “You’re gonna be sorry, your mate will be sorry” the woman says in the recording. The woman had woken up in the inner western Sydney apartment of Wests Tigers player Ryan O’Hara, where overnight end-of-season celebrations had involved a number of players. Laffranchi, who has since transferred to the Gold Coast Titans, has strenuously protested his innocence to a charge of sexual intercourse without consent. He sat silently in the courtroom as his committal hearing got underway, and he did not look at the TV screen showing the woman giving her evidence by video-link today.
The woman also said she had been drinking heavily and dancing with friends at clubs in Kings Cross the night earlier, and she had no recollection of how she came to be in the apartment. She said she was crying when she left the apartment to catch a cab to a friend’s home. “I told him to ‘hurry up, I think I’ve been raped’.”
Under cross examination by Laffranchi’s lawyer, the woman denied the rape allegation was payback because she felt “disrespected” the morning after she had consensual sex with one or more of the men. “You wanted to pay him back,” Tony Bellanto QC said. “No,” the woman replied.
The court also heard the woman made 21 calls on her mobile phone, and caught several cabs, during the hours she said she could not remember. The committal hearing is yet to hear from the doctor who gave the woman a medical check-up. Magistrate Caroline Barkell adjourned the committal hearing to March 27.