The head of a university college could have prevented a student being raped at a rowdy pub crawl event but presumably kept watching television instead, a barrister says.
Tony Bartley, who is representing the alleged victim, on Wednesday told the ACT Supreme Court John XXIII College had failed miserably.
The barrister said the college first let a "pub golf" event go ahead, then told attendees to "get on with your drinking elsewhere", and ultimately, responded to a woman's rape claim with "out of order" comments.
Mr Bartley, instructed by Shine Lawyers, said the alleged victim was among hundreds of students gathered at the Australian National University college on the night of August 6, 2015 for pub golf.
He said student leaders knew about the event days in advance. It involved them taping bottles of alcohol to the hands of participants, who would have to drink a certain amount to make "par".
Mr Bartley said John XXIII College head Geoff Johnston claimed to have no clue about pub golf before he got a call about an "unusual" event from a student leader on the night of August 6. That was despite pub golf having been an annual tradition for at least four years prior.
Even then, the barrister said, Mr Johnston didn't ask the student anything of value when he phoned, like whether the students had been drinking. Instead, he ordered they be sent away from the college with the notion they might retreat to the common room for a "sherry and a cheese biscuit", Mr Bartley said.
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The students at pub golf were drunk to the point of vomiting, lying in the college's hallways, and an ambulance had been called, Mr Bartley said. By the time the students left, they were cross-dressed, had their hands bound together, and dorm bins were in the college's hallways.
"Presumably, Your Honour, [Mr Johnston] keeps watching television," Mr Bartley said.
"They shouldn't have been sent out. It's as simple as that."
Mr Bartley said the college head, a self-described "pretty good judge of character", could have come down hard on the students and told them if they went ahead with the prohibited pub crawl, they would be putting their education in jeopardy and could be punished.
"There could be no suggestion, Your Honour, they would have flown in the face of that," Mr Bartley said.
"To do nothing and then say, 'Nothing would have worked', is not exculpatory."
Mr Bartley said the question of whether preventing the event would have stopped the woman being sexually assaulted was almost rhetorical.
He said when the alleged victim came to Mr Johnston to report the sexual assault, which she says happened in an alleyway near Mooseheads, he gave her a "completely ill-advised and out of order response".
The college head last Friday defended his response to the student.
Justice Michael Elkaim on Tuesday described some comments Mr Johnston made to the student as unjustifiable and "ridiculous". Court documents said the college head told her words to the effect of, "I'm not really sure that anything did actually happen in the alleyway", and, "Another concern is how you managed to get that drunk".
Mr Bartley said: "[Mr Johnston] becomes the judge [in the college's rape investigation] and then extraordinarily appoints himself as the support person for [the alleged rapist].
"[That] could not be thought reasonable in any circumstances."
The college's barrister, Jeunesse Chapman, said all of the "contributory negligence" for the alleged rape should lie with the alleged victim, for "without [her] intoxication, you don't get the sexual assault".
On Tuesday, Ms Chapman told the court university students had autonomy and independence, and if the woman was raped, the college had no duty or practical ability to guard against it.
The court previously heard the former student couldn't remember being sexually assaulted.
Justice Elkaim will make a ruling on the case at a later date.