DENIALS: Newcastle figure David Hogg, centre, with supporters and members of his legal team including lawyer Hugo Aston, right, leaving the Downing Centre courts in Sydney on Friday.LIFESTYLE Solutions founder David Hogg has given his version of an evening in July 1988 that has led to him facing the District Court charged with a single count of sexual intercourse without consent.
Facing a jury of 10 men and two women, Mr Hogg agreedhe took a Year 11 schoolgirl on a Friday night drive to talk with her and to “counsel” her over her problems, but denieddriving to the Harbour Bridge, and parking there as the prosecution alleges was the case.
Mr Hogg, who was a married Baptist minister in his early 30s at the time, deniedtouching the complainant in any way, or confronting her at her school, Carlingford High, early the following week.
He acknowledges being rung by the head of Carlingford Baptist Church in late 1988 or early 1989 after the church was contacted by the principal of the school, but he believed it was because he had allegedly “made a pass at one of the students”.
“I said something around the words ‘leave it to me and I’ll see the principal and sort it out’,” Mr Hogg told the court.
He said the allegation “wasn’t true”.
Asked if he understood the allegation at the time to be one of sexual assault, Mr Hogg said: “Absolutely not.”
The third day of the trial opened on Friday with Mr Hogg being cross-examined by the Crown over evidence he had given on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Hogg said he had driven around the “local area” with the complainant but could not remember where.
The Crown alleged Mr Hogg confronted the complainant the following Monday or Tuesday and that it “backfired” because he made her so nervous that other people noticed.
“I didn’t go back there,” Mr Hogg said.
Asked about the phone call from the Carlingford minister, Mr Hogg said he “made an assumption” that the allegation had been made by the complainant because he had only taken two girls on work experience: he knew the other girl well and was a friend of her family’s. He denied being told he had been banned from visiting the school. He said he’d been told the “student didn’t want to take it any further”. The school had also been contacted by a parent. The trial resumes on Monday.