Yachtsman denies drugging and raping women on his yacht

A YACHTSMAN who allegedly drugged and raped three young women on his yacht while it was moored at either Bundaberg or Mooloolaba during the 80s and 90s claims the encounters were consensual.

John Collins, 75, pleaded not guilty on Monday in the Brisbane District Court to nine offences including rape, sexual assault and drugging the three women on separate occasions between December 31, 1986, and January 1, 2000.

Crown Prosecutor David Nardone told the court all three women, who cannot be named to protect their identities, did not know each other but had extremely similar accounts of what happened to them when moored at a marina or while at sea.

He said Collins had lured the women to his yacht with the promise of work before drugging and raping them.

"It is only the events at the centre of this trial that bring these three women together," he said.

"The three strangers to each other all share a common experience.

"The cause of that experience is John Collins."

Mr Nardone said Collins would place advertisements in newspapers seeking a nanny to help him look after and educate a young boy while his yacht sailed to exotic locations.

He said there was nothing exotic about Collins's true motives.

"This is how he lured these young women to his yacht," he said.

"He then drugged then through drinks he offered them.

"It was then, while isolated at sea in some circumstances, that he raped and sexually abused these three women."

Mr Nardone said the three women would tell a similar story of Collins offering them a drink before feeling groggy and eventually blacking out.

He said on some occasions the women would awaken to find Collins raping them before blacking out again.

"These three women did not know each other but give a very similar account of what happened to them individually over a 12 year period."

Defence barrister Carl Heaton told the jury his client admitted having sex with the three women, but claimed the encounters were consensual.

"The Crown has given you a summary of what allegedly has happened . . . it is not what actually happened," he said.

"It is what the Crown says happened.

"There are significant matters which will become apparent which conflict the Crown's version of events."

The trial before Judge Michael Shanahan is expected to last about a week.


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