Two University of Nottingham students are on trial for rape

'It couldn't have been easier if we tried' read a message from the two University of Nottingham students on trial for rape, the court heard

Rape Victim

'It couldn't have been easier if we tried' read a message from the two University of Nottingham students on trial for rape, the court heard

Two University of Nottingham students are currently on trial for raping a fellow student.

Jesse Burgoine, 28, and Artjom Nepryahin, 25, of the university rowing society are accused of targeting a young female student on a night out, taking her home and sexually assaulting her after she had passed out drunk.

The victim was clubbing at Coco Tang bar to celebrate the end of term, but after losing her friends she went home with Burgoine and Nepryahin, who later alleged raped her after she fell asleep on their sofa.

When she regained consciousness, she was being sexually assaulted by the two men, the court heard – forced to ‘play dead’ in order to get them to stop (which they didn’t for about 10 seconds – merely checking her pulse and continuing).

‘When they stopped what they were doing, I couldn't see where they went, because I closed my eyes’ the victim told the court, ‘I heard them murmuring. I opened my eyes to see where my things were. I grabbed my things and went.’ After escaping, she called for a taxi, hiding in a car park until it arrived.

Both men have jointly denied the rape charges, insisting that the sexual encounter was consensual, and that it was only after sex that she had passed out, and they claim she was never at any point too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Jurors at Nottingham Crown Court were shown a graphic 24-second video of Burgoine having sex with the unconscious woman.

There was also photographic evidence, with the two men posing together for a ‘trophy’ picture either side of the unconscious naked woman – a photo that Prosecutor Tina Dempster informed the court had been sent to others.

The two men were part of a WhatsApp messaging group called ‘The Gruesome Threesome’ along with another member – allegedly sharing images of the victim’s private parts and giving details of the incident. ‘It’s quite clear, when you hear telephone evidence and the exchanges between them, that they see it as a joke to sleep with women’ prosecutor Tina Dempster explained to the court.

The court heard that Nepryahin boasted to the online messaging group the following morning: ‘You might think, on hearing the evidence, the drunker the woman is the easier it is to sleep with her. It couldn’t have been easier if we tried.’

The trial continues.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.