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Jan 08 - RGP Officer Rape Trial Begins

courtsThe trial of Peter Lugnani, who is charged with five counts of rape, started this morning in the Supreme Court. Lugnani pleaded not guilty to all charges against him and will have the case heard by a jury before Puisne Judge Justice Barrington Black. The defendant is being represented by John Causer and Patrick Canessa, with Karl Tonna and Robert Fischel QC appearing for the Crown.

The charges relate to two complainants and cover one incident that occurred between March and April 2009 and a separate incident on 30th November 2012. Lugnani, along with the two complainants, was a serving RGP officer at the time of the alleged incidents. The case is set to last approximately two weeks.

Following a minor set back yesterday that saw two members of the original jury dismissed for having pending court cases of their own, a new jury was summoned and sworn in this morning.

In his opening statement, Mr Fischel told the jury that the first alleged rape took place at the complainant’s flat. The matter was only reported to the police following the second complainant’s report.

Prior to the incident with the second complainant, the prosecution claims that Lugnani had shared a sexual relationship with her. The jury heard that this incident took place at the Rosia Bay anchorage and relates to four of Lugnani’s charges.

Lugnani’s defence team accepts that the sexual acts took place however they argue whether they were consensual.