26 Apr 2012


A WOMAN who says she was "groped" by a senior officer onboard HMAS Success had dreams of being sexually assaulted before the incident, a Sydney court has heard.

The woman, who gave evidence against Ralph Weingaertner in the Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday, texted a colleague a few hours after the alleged incident saying, "It disturbs me to realise I had all these dreams about people doing very similar things and now it's happened."

Chief Petty Officer Weingaertner has pleaded not guilty to assault with an act of indecency against a junior female sailor onboard HMAS Success on July 26, 2011.

The prosecution has alleged Chief Petty Officer Weingaertner picked up the woman physically in a storeroom and touched her groin area as he set her back on the ground.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court she laughed initially when she was picked up, but then she stopped.

"It was quite absurd to me that it happened. I felt like a child," she said.

"I became embarrassed it was happening. I knew it was inappropriate."

Nick Boyden, acting for Chief Petty Officer Weingaertner, put it to the woman that his client's hand had not slid up her leg and touched her groin as he put her back on the ground.

"I guarantee it happened," the woman said.

The court heard the woman had first complained about the incident in a text to a colleague seven hours later.

When asked to explain what she meant about the dreams, the woman replied, "I had been having dreams about being sexually assaulted."

The colleague, a petty officer who was in the storeroom at the time of the alleged assault, told the court he had witnessed "playful banter" and a mock fight between the pair before Chief Petty Officer Weingaertner picked the woman up.

But he said he did not see where Chief Petty Officer Weingaertner's hands were when he put the woman down.

The woman was "quite distraught" and crying when she later told him what had happened.
"She basically explained that she was groped," the sailor said.

The hearing is continuing

A waste of the courts time, looks like it, how will we ever know what the truth is, was it just good fun an accident or something taken the wrong way, or was it really a traumatic experience.

I'm afraid this case does sound a bit fishy, I wonder was there a connection between these two before the incident?

Fact or fantasy, we watch with interest.