Today, the Court of Appeal (Justice Beach, Justice McLeish and Justice Emerton) dismissed an appeal by Ryan James Keogh against his convictions on three charges of rape.

On 16 February, 2016, Keogh and the complainant were engaging in consensual sexual intercourse in a camping area at the Colac Bachelors and Spinster’s Ball. Patrick McGrath, a friend of Keogh, walked past. Keogh asked if McGrath wanted to ‘join in’. The complainant’s evidence at trial was that she said ‘no’ and withdrew consent for any further sexual activity. Keogh’s case at trial was that the complainant said ‘yes’ and consented to McGrath joining in. McGrath and Keogh then sexually penetrated the complainant. The issues at trial concerned whether the complainant consented and whether Keogh reasonably believed that the complainant consented.

The jury convicted Keogh in respect of his own penetration of the complainant and as being complicit in McGrath’s penetrations of the complainant. Keogh appealed on two grounds: (1) that the judge erred in failing to direct the jury that Keogh’s self-induced intoxication was relevant on the complicity charges; and (2) that the jury’s verdict was unreasonable and could not be supported by the evidence.

The Court of Appeal rejected both of Keogh’s grounds of appeal. In rejecting Keogh’s first ground, the Court said that the judge’s directions were entirely consistent with the way in which the case was conducted and that the judge did not err in failing to give a direction in relation to self-induced intoxication (a direction not sought by Keogh at trial). In rejecting the second ground, the Court concluded that, upon a consideration of the whole of the evidence, it was open to the jury to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the complainant had withdrawn consent for further sexual activity and that Keogh did not reasonably believe that she consented to the charged acts of penetration. The Court, therefore, dismissed the appeal.


NOTE: This summary is necessarily incomplete. It is not intended as a substitute for the Court’s reasons or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons. The only authoritative pronouncement of the Court’s reasons and conclusions is that contained in the published reasons for judgment.

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Supreme Court of Victoria
Supreme Court of Victoria
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