A teenager who accused a policeman of rape was prone to exaggeration and regularly in crisis, her friend has told a Northern Territory court.
Senior Sergeant Patrick Carson, 39, has pleaded not guilty in the Supreme Court to raping the woman, then 19, twice in Darwin during 2020.
Prosecutors say the married officer exploited his position as a father figure to take advantage of an immature young woman, who he knew from an exercise group.
The trial on Friday heard the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, “tends to exaggerate a lot and … could blow things out of proportion”.
“I remember saying she tends to exaggerate,” a friend of the woman said from the witness box in reply to questions from Carson’s lawyer, Mary Chalmers.
The witness agreed the alleged victim had been investigated over an allegation she had made while the pair were at college together.
The court heard the witness also sent a joking message to the alleged victim saying that 40 per cent her messages were about the woman being in crisis.
“Do you remember she was forever, while she was in Darwin, messaging you about things that she said had happened to her like a man coming out of the bush and trying to grab her?” Ms Chalmers said.
“I don’t know if it was exactly 40 per cent of the time but (she) did often tell me about things that had happened to her,” the witness said.
“There were a number of times.”
Another witness said he warned Carson about his interaction with the alleged victim, saying “just be careful, don’t do anything stupid”.
“I just had a feeling (the woman) may have been a bit infatuated with him and I did not want him to end up in a situation that would be difficult to explain to his wife,” he said in a statement read to the jury.
Brain tumour claims
The witness said Carson told him he was helping the woman because she did not get along with her parents and was “pretty immature and lacked significant degree of confidence”.
The same witness also said the woman told him she had a brain tumour and needed surgery “only to show up to training the following day as if nothing had happened”.
“She later informed us it was a dodgy nerve that needed to be shocked,” he said.
“She (also) complained to me that she had been stalked and this person had shown up to track and was following her.”
Earlier, the court heard Carson and the woman developed an intense relationship over several months while training together.
The woman “felt loved and important and special” and Carson was able to control aspects of her life and ultimately take advantage of her in a sexual manner, prosecutor Marty Aust said during his opening remarks.
It led to the pair being alone at the home Carson shared with his wife and children, where he allegedly raped the woman after the duo had massaged each other on his patio.
The second alleged attack happened about six weeks later on a couch at a mutual friend’s home, where Carson is accused of forcefully touching the woman and allegedly saying: “Be a good girl and stay still”.
The trial continues on Monday.