Man 'maintains his innocence'

LAWYERS for a Sunshine Coast man convicted of raping his 15-year-old work colleague say he was not having a moment of "guilty passion" as the Crown had painted at trial.

The man, who was 24 when he faced a trial in Maroochydore District Court in January, had a hearing in the Court of Appeal in Brisbane on Wednesday where his defence argued the Crown had interpreted evidence incorrectly and there should have been better directions about it from the trial judge.

The man, who has always maintained his innocence since the moment police interviewed him, is trying to have the conviction overturned.

His victim, 19 when the trial began, had described how the man, her brother's friend, was supposed to drive her home from work in the Noosa area but he wanted to have a shower at his house on the way so he could go out straight after dropping her home.

She said he came out of the shower with just a towel on, pushed her back on the bed, pulled her pants down and "started having sex with me".

The man - who was jailed for five-and-a-half years after a jury found him guilty - claimed he "would never do that".

He said he had a girlfriend and the girl had a boyfriend and the girl's description of where she alleged it happened was not consistent with where he was living at the time.

Issues argued in the Court of Appeal were similar to those the defence raised at trial, arguing the girl's story was unreliable because of inconsistencies.

They also discussed how the man's mother was home at the time and had testified the girl could not have been out of her sight for more than a few minutes.

Three Court of Appeal justices reserved their decision.

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