The trials of Gavin Gao’s (高云翔) sexual assault case in Australia, which has been ongoing since June of 2018, are being postponed due to the the COVID-19 outbreak.
According to Chinese Australian lawyer Shen Hanbing (沈寒冰), many court officials had fallen sick, including the judge. “Three of my staff were at one of the court hearings [for a different case],” said Shen. “We were concerned. The judge even had to make it clear that he didn’t have COVID-19.”
According to sources, Gavin was granted retrials in December 2019, which started in February 2020 and was expected to take four weeks. The actor, along with the second defendant Wang Jing (王晶), have to attend each one.
In December 2019, the judge ordered a retrial with a new jury after the previous jury failed to reach an unanimous verdict. The new set of jury members included eight men and four women. Among the 12 members included two Asians, one man and one woman. There were two elderly members and two members in their twenties.
Gavin was accused of seven counts of rape, indecent assault, and depriving the victim of her rights, among others. Wang Jing was accused of eleven counts.
According to the victim, she claimed that she was lured into a hotel room by the two defendants after partying at a karaoke bar, and was sexually assaulted. The two defendants have denied sexual assault, claiming that the sex was consensual.
On March 9, 2020, Gavin’s witness was brought to the stand. The witness was present at the karaoke bar on the night of the assault. The witness said the victim and Wang Jing kissed for two straight minutes, and she did not appear to be in distraught. The witness also defended Gavin’s character, saying that he is a filial son and has always been respectful of others. It was reported that Gavin cried after his friend’s testimony.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.