Accused rapist faces trial

A CONVICTED murderer is facing trial this week accused of raping a female prison officer at the Mount Gambier Prison in 2017.

Yesterday marked the start of an expected five-day trial for 33-year-old man James Hall in front of Judge Gordon Barrett at the Adelaide District Court.

Hall is accused of two counts of rape and the judge-only trial is taking place in absence of a jury.

Reported in The Advertiser, prosecutor Ryan Williams revealed Hall demanded sex from the woman at Mount Gambier Prison, despite the officer’s clear refusal.

He said security camera footage would show the officer was inside Hall’s dorm – the door to which had been closed by the killer – for 20 minutes.

It is alleged Hall then exposed himself and tried to kiss her.

“She was shocked and scared and she feared what might happen if she did not comply and so she did,” the prosecution said.

Mr Williams said the officer knew Hall before the incident, characterising their dealings as a “mutually respectful and trusting staff-prisoner relationship”.

“It’s a low-to-medium security prison … there is a culture of positive, peaceful and relatively relaxed interactions between staff and prisoners.

“Hall took advantage of that trusting relationship.”

It is alleged after being raped, the officer re-dressed herself, left the dorm and tried to behave as if everything was fine.

It was not until days later the alleged offending came to light after the officer confided in a relative.

In a statement to The Border Watch in 2017, G4S director of justice operations Brett McMerrin said the prisoner was immediately moved out of the Mount Gambier prison after the alleged incident.

The defendant was subsequently moved from the Mount Gambier Prison, which is designed for low to medium level prisoners, to South Australia’s highest security section of the Yatala Prison, the G-division, following the alleged offending.