Chinese film star to face retrial in rape case
A Chinese film star and a TV producer accused of raping a woman in a luxury Sydney hotel will face a retrial in 2020 after a jury was discharged.
The crew member accused actor Yunxiang Gao and producer Jing Wang of making her their sex "slave" at the Shangri-La Hotel last year, but the 37-year-olds insist the woman willingly joined their threesome after a TV series wrap party.
The duo pleaded not guilty to a raft of charges including aggravated sexual assault in company where the victim was deprived of liberty and faced a five-week trial.
But a jury of eight men and four women had to be discharged at Downing Centre District Court on Wednesday following five days of deliberation.
Judge Penelope Hock told the court a new jury will be empanelled for a retrial on February 24.
The Crown alleged that the men "tortured" the China-born Australian resident, with Mr Gao allegedly ejaculating on her face and mocking her while Wang forced her to perform oral sex on him.
But Mr Gao's barrister Murugan Thangaraj SC said the married woman jumped at a "once in a lifetime" chance to have sex with the celebrity when "fantasy met reality" at The Rocks in the early hours of March 27, 2018.
Mr Wang's barrister Margaret Cunneen SC said the "seductive" complainant kept her husband in the dark about her infidelity, threw two innocent men "under the bus" to protect herself from getting caught, lied to police and then tried to fool a jury.
Mr Thangaraj said Mr Wang invited the alleged victim back to his hotel room around 2.30am after they were seen passionately "french kissing" at a karaoke club by colleagues and on CCTV footage.
Mr Gao's lawyer said when his handsome client joined them the "starstruck" woman couldn't believe her luck, but she insists she only thought the trio were there to talk "business."
While giving evidence the complainant tearfully said Mr Gao and Mr Wang ignored her crying pleas to let her go and after being forced onto her hands and knees she eventually appeared compliant at times while acting out of fear.
But Mr Wang testified that he was shocked to see the menstruating woman straddling Mr Gao and "riding on top" of him while calling out his name.
Mr Wang said he drank too much Chinese wine and she became so exasperated with his failure to get an erection that she slapped his penis several times.
The complainant's husband also gave evidence that when she finally came home at dawn he confronted her, repeatedly saying "tell me what happened, don't lie", until she burst out crying and told him: "they forced me."
The woman said she initially denied having forced vaginal sex to police because she was embarrassed about her husband finding out, and refused an internal medical examination because she "didn't want anybody to touch my body again."
But Ms Cunneen argued the woman's possessive partner may have pressured his wife into making a police complaint and she went along with it for the sake of her marriage.
During fiery testimony the complainant accused Ms Cunneen of trying to "twist the truth" and rejected claims she flirtatiously asked Wang to buy her a Bentley the night of her alleged attack because "a boyfriend needs to deliver his promises''.
Several crew members also took to the witness box, including Mr Wang's assistant who denied claims from the complainant that she offered her a bribe to drop the charges.
The court was packed full of Chinese media and fans scambling to catch a glimpse of Gao, and several times the judge had to warn them not to record footage on their phones or live blog the proceedings.