– With AAP.
1. “Just so degrading.” Woman raped by Australian cricketer Alex Hepburn on discovering she was part of a ‘game’.
Warning: This article deals with an account of rape/sexual assault and may be triggering for survivors of abuse.
A woman who was raped by cricketer Alex Hepburn said she was humiliated to learn the crime was part of a WhatsApp sex conquest game.
In April, ex-Worcestershire county player Hepburn was found guilty of one count of oral rape at the Worcester Crown Court in the UK, following a retrial. A jury found the 23-year-old had raped a sleeping woman at a party in April 2017, but cleared him of a second count of rape involving the same victim.
He has been sentenced to five years prison, but is appealing his conviction.
The woman, known only as Sarah*, told the BBC it was "so humiliating" to find out at the trial she had unknowingly been part of a ‘sex conquest’ game he set up on WhatsApp with his cricketing teammates.
"I don’t even think he thought it was rape. Like the judge said he trivialised rape. I’m adamant that he thought I’d be grateful for this," she said.
"To talk about women that way, we're just items. We're just another number, a competition. It's just so degrading.
"The judge hit the nail on the head when he said he arrogantly assumed that I'd consent."
The woman had consensual sex with Hepburn’s then-teammate, Joe Clarke, earlier in the evening before falling asleep.
Clarke had passed out in the bathroom after the encounter. The woman later woke to find a man, whom she believed to be Clarke, engaging in a sex act with her in the dimly lit room. She only realised it was Hepburn when he spoke in an Australian accent.
She pushed him off and asked where Clarke was while Hepburn was “pawing” at her legs. After running out into the street, she stopped a passer-by and asked for help.