‘Do you want your visa?’: Farmer accused of raping worker
A South Burnett farmer accused of raping and sexually assaulting a British backpacker who worked on his property has been committed to stand trial almost four years after the alleged crimes.
Wayne Robert Green allegedly raped the young woman when she worked on his crop farm near Murgon in early 2017 as part of her government requirement to extend her visa.
The Mondure farmer, who appeared via video link from Longreach for the decision in the Brisbane Magistrates Court, said he would defend the charges of rape, sexual assault and deceptive recruiting.
Magistrate Louisa Pink said during the committal hearing, the court heard evidence the young woman from the United Kingdom had arrived at the farm in early 2017 and felt "stranded and isolated", "vulnerable" and insecure in her employment because Green was allegedly critical of her work and described her as "useless" and "easily replaceable".
"She alleged that he talked about her in aggressive and obscene terms, he told her she would have to prove herself to keep her job and that boring backpackers didn't last long on the farm, asking whether she was going to be fun or boring," Magistrate Pink said.
"He supplied alcohol to everyone and was always pushing her to have beer. He talked about other people's figures or boobs, he told her constantly of his sexual encounters with other backpackers and how they gave him blow jobs, hand jobs or had sex with him."
Magistrate Pink said the woman alleged that on her ninth or 10th day at the farm, the other workers had gone out leaving her and Green at the property alone.
"After working in the morning they were both in the house at 11am or 12 on a boiling hot day when he called her upstairs, he was lying across the bed completely naked, she said that shock and fear set in," the magistrate said, reading the allegations to the court.
"She thought he was going to rape her. He told her to give him a blow job, that this is what they agreed on, that 'this was the f***ing deal' and he asked whether she wanted her visa or not.
"She said he used a really aggressive tone and she was really frightened. She didn't remember saying anything and felt powerless like she didn't have any choice. He was dominating and aggressive. She didn't remember saying no but felt he was going to hurt her if she didn't."
The woman alleged that Green put his penis into her mouth and moved her while making derogatory remarks.
"She said she did not freely and voluntarily consent to giving Mr Green oral sex at any time and that she only did it as he intimidated her and made her feel threatened," Magistrate Pink said.
"Further that he was her employer and had authority over her while she was at the farm."
Magistrate Pink said the case was likely to centre on whether the woman consented to the sexual encounter,
"Consent is defined … as consent freely and voluntarily given by a person so that a person's consent to an act is not freely and voluntarily given if it is obtained amongst other things by intimidation, by fear of bodily harm or by exercise of authority," she said.
Green's defence had submitted the court should find there was no case to answer on the charge of rape and deceptive recruiting but conceded there was a prima facie case in relation to the sexual assault charge.
Magistrate Pink committed him to stand trial on the three charges and Green told the court he intended to plead not guilty.
The case was committed to the Kingaroy District Court.
Originally published as 'Do you want your visa?': Farmer accused of backpacker rape