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Cherries defender Steve Cook denies sex attack charge
9:05am Wednesday 23rd January 2013 in News
AN AFC Bournemouth player has gone on trial alongside three other footballers accused of a sexual assault on a drunken 19-year-old woman.
The four are accused of taking mobile phone pictures as they carried out the assault.
Steve Cook, 21, plays for the Cherries but was a member of the Brighton and Hove Albion squad at the time of the alleged offence.
He was appearing at the Old Bailey alongside former teammates Anton Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 21, and George Barker, 21.
The four took the woman back to their room at the Jury’s Inn Hotel in Brighton in July 2011 and assaulted her after celebrating victory for their club in the Sussex Senior Cup, it was alleged.
Rodgers and Barker, both of Highview Avenue North, Brighton; Dunk, of Wood-bourne Avenue, Brighton; and Cook, of Perth Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, deny sexual assault and voyeurism.
Richard Barton, prosecuting, said: “This case concerns how a group of young professional footballers, intoxicated after a night out together celebrating a cup final victory, took advantage of a young woman, who herself was intoxicated and who was obviously in a vulnerable condition.
“After taking her back to a hotel room, they waited until she had fallen asleep, and so was unable to resist, and then sexually assaulted her in a deliberately humiliating way.
“They compounded the humiliation by taking photographs of themselves doing so in order to have a permanent record of their conquest.”
Mr Barton said the woman spent the evening at four nightclubs.
At the last, she met a number of footballers out celebrating and one bought her a drink.
“It would seem alcohol played a part in the events that night,” said Mr Barton.
He said this was not a case of a drunken young woman who did things when drunk that she later regretted.
Mr Barton added: “This is a case of a group of men taking advantage of a woman who, through a combination of drink and tiredness, ended up unconscious.
“She was not in a condition to resist, give consent or prevent things happening.”
The woman told the jury she woke up half-naked in a hotel bed next to Anton Rodgers.
She said she could not remember getting there and was horrified to find the pictures after asking to use Rodgers’s phone.
She added: “I felt ashamed, embarrassed. I couldn’t believe it had happened.”