The site of the alleged assault on the grounds of St Johns College. Photo Supplied. Story Harriet AlexanderJean Claude Perrottet exchanged a flurry of text messages with his mates in the days after the 2015 St Johns College formal to find out what the friend who had invited him to the event knew about his encounter with another woman.
He asked his friends whether they had spoken to his hostess and what she had said about him, explaining that he could not remember much of the night.
“I can’t get that drunk. When I get that drunk my morals leave,” he said in one message.
One of his friends said the only thing he heard was that Mr Perrottet had vanished. “So what happened?” he asked.
Mr Perrottet replied: “I just kissed someone.”
Mr Perrottet has pleaded not guilty in the NSW District Court to three counts of sexual assault over the events that transpired while he was separated from his friend that night.
The 20-year-old younger brother of NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet had been invited to the formal by a female student of the college, a platonic friend who their mutual friends wanted to become his girlfriend, although neither was romantically interested in the other.
He told one friend he had consumed too much alcohol because he did not know many people at the party, and the court heard that he met the woman who was to become his accuser on the dance floor.
She became the second woman he was to kiss that night while his hostess was socialising elsewhere.
Afterwards he led her by the hand to a tree canopy, where she says a number of sex acts occurred without her consent.
But Mr Perrottet says that the first two acts were consensual and that the third – sexual intercourse – did not take place.
He told police when he was arrested a few days later that there was “no way” sex had taken place because it was against his religion.
He told the court: “I believe you should wait until marriage.”
Police later overheard him telling his brother on the phone that it was “just second base” and “it was all consensual”.
Under cross-examination on Friday, Mr Perrottet conceded that the Catholic value of chastity should also have ruled out the sexual activity that he admitted had occurred.
He told his brother another sex act “may” have occurred rather than did occur to avoid his approbation, rather than because he had lost his memory, he told the court.
“The reason is because when he’d come home he’d get really angry at me and get me in trouble,” Mr Perrottet said.
He also denied that his text messages were based on anxiety that sexual assault allegations may have been levelled against him.
“I was freaking out because I was with [the complainant] all night and it was rude to do that when [my friend] was the one who asked me to the ball,” Mr Perrottet said.
Kissing a girl isn’t all that bad is it? “I don’t think it’s great to be just randomly kissing girls … if I didn’t know them, or talk to them first or ask them out for coffee.”
The trial continues.