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Jesse Robert Thurlow: Trial of chiropractor to the stars hears he and housemate ‘laughed at victim’

A chiropractor to the stars allegedly sexually assaulted a young woman with his friend following a party and may have ‘laughed’ at her while she was being raped, a court has heard. 

Jesse Robert Thurlow, 29, is standing trial at the New South Wales District Court, over claims that he and a male friend raped the young woman more than five years’ ago.

The alleged victim’s former mate, Jesse Christensen, gave evidence to the judge-alone trial via video link on Wednesday.  

Ms Christensen claimed the young woman was ‘never the same’ and needed her ‘constant’ support as she couldn’t even eat or speak properly. 

‘I had watched how it had changed her as a person,’ Ms Christensen told the court during evidence-in-chief.

‘She couldn’t leave her house or eat or speak properly …  from there on out her life was never the same, she was never the same.’

Ms Christensen did not specifically explain why the alleged victim could not do those things.

She claimed the alleged victim woke her up with a phone call on the night of the alleged incident in April 2015.  

‘She called me crying and I asked her a series of questions. Because she was crying I couldn’t get anything out of her.

‘(I asked) are you lost, did somebody hurt you, are you drunk, have you been raped? I asked her the question have you been raped, she said “Yes”.’

Ms Christensen told the court the young woman was still in the house at the time and said something about a ‘bag she needed to get’ from the room. 

The friend claimed she spoke to the alleged victim almost every day about her claimed ordeal until they stopped being friends at the end of 2018. 

Under cross-examination from Thurlow’s barrister, Allan Goldsworthy, Ms Christensen described her support to the alleged victim as extensive. 

‘I would feed her, I would shower her, I have cleaned her house, I have looked after her animals.

‘Yes, I supported her to a very far extent over those years.’    

She recalled the alleged victim’s version of events including that ‘she had gone to a party and that two men raped her … she said their names were Jesse and Stefan… that’s all I can sort of remember for you.

‘She had gone to the party and she had been raped. That they were laughing at her or he was laughing at her.’

Ms Christensen said the alleged victim had said something about ‘if she could just lay there and remember what the room looked like”.  

Asked if the fact that people were laughing at her seemed important to the alleged victim, Ms Christensen said: ‘Well, yeah. Why would you laugh at someone you were raping?’  

The friend denied that the reason for their falling out in 2018 was that she had been ‘trying to make this case about you’. 

‘No, that is false,’ the friend told the court. 

Ms Christensen told the court she was having a mental breakdown during their falling out. 

She told the court she ended their friendship because she ‘needed more support’ and wasn’t getting it from the alleged victim.

Thurlow has pleaded not guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault (offender in company with another person) and one count of doing an act with the intention of perverting the course of justice.

He pleaded guilty to a separate charge of doing an act with the intention of  perverting the course of justice. 

The alleged victim has given evidence in a closed court. 

The trial continues, with Thurlow’s housemate expected to stand trial at a later date.

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