A Northern Territory policeman's behaviour before he allegedly raped a shy and awkward teenager with few friends was almost textbook grooming, a court has been told.
Senior Sergeant Patrick Carson, 39, has pleaded not guilty to raping the woman, then 19, twice in Darwin during 2020 after meeting her at a sports group.
The Crown says the married officer exploited his position as a father figure to take advantage of a young woman, who'd only recently arrived in the Top End.
"He's taken a teenage girl described as shy, lacking in confidence, socially inadequate, immature with few friends, who has difficulty making good decisions in stressful situations," prosecutor Marty Aust told the Supreme Court in Darwin on Monday during his closing address to the jury.
"She was the perfect prey for Mr Carson and when he ultimately takes advantage of her, given the dynamic of the relationship, she's going to accept his apologies ... that nothing is wrong and it is her fault."
Carson's alleged grooming also included making the woman feel like she was his equal and the most important person in his life.
"You make (her) believe you are their protector ... you set up a secret chat to keep your ever-increasingly concerned wife at arm's length," Mr Aust said, as he reminded the jury of the evidence it had heard during the nine-day trial.
"This is almost equivalent to a document that is a chronicle of how to groom."
The court, which has been closed to public for most of the trial, previously heard Carson and the woman developed an intense relationship over several months while training together.
The woman "felt loved and important and special" and Carson was able to control aspects of her life and ultimately take advantage of her in a sexual manner, Mr Aust said during his opening remarks.
It led to the pair being alone at the home Carson shared with his wife and children, where he allegedly raped the woman after the duo had massaged each other on his patio.
The second alleged attack happened about six weeks later on a couch at a mutual friend's home, where Carson is accused of forcefully touching the woman.
"She thought maybe it could have been an accident but she heard him moaning and she froze ... She could not talk, she was scared," Mr Aust said.
"She does not want Paddy, she wants somebody like him but younger because he is like a father to her. He is her training partner."
Carson's lawyer, Mary Chalmers, said the woman was an "exaggerator, a twister of facts to suit her own narrative and some instances, a bare faced liar".
"(She) has all the hallmarks of the most unreliable witness," she said.
"The way she mis-characterised the nature of her relationship with Mr Carson to police ... A 'chronicle of grooming' is very far from the truth.
"You may even have a query about who was grooming who."
Ms Chalmers said the woman had "painted a picture of a controlling and frightful man who lured her into a relationship without her even knowing what was going on" to investigators.
"Nearly everything she said about it turned out to be either a lie or a gross mis-characterisation or a twisting of reality to fit a narrative, her narrative of being raped."
The trial continues on Tuesday with Ms Chalmers' closing remarks.
Australian Associated Press
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