Jury due to go out in rape case

THE jury is expected to go out today (Tuesday, April 21) in the case of a rape charge being heard at Huntingdon Crown Court. Karl Hartnett, 20 from Thomas Road, Huntingdon has pleaded not guilty to three charges of sexual assault, assault by penetratio

THE jury is expected to go out today (Tuesday, April 21) in the case of a rape charge being heard at Huntingdon Crown Court.

Karl Hartnett, 20 from Thomas Road, Huntingdon has pleaded not guilty to three charges of sexual assault, assault by penetration and rape.

A teenage girl claims that Mr Hartnett raped her repeatedly four years ago when he, too, was a teenager high on drink and drugs.

Mr Harnett, who has admitted taking cannabis almost every day at that period, has denied any sexual relationship whatsoever with the girl and said he was so shocked when he first heard the allegations that he saw a solicitor because he wanted to sue for slander. He has said that there was no question of his not being able to remember events after drinking or smoking.

The court heard that the attacks took place between September 2005 and September 2006 when he was aged 16-17.

The girl has given evidence to the court in a videotaped interview played to the jury and watched by them on a television screen. She said the attacks had stopped after Mr Hartnett found a girlfriend.