TWO postgraduate students were seen on CCTV laughing and exchanging high-fives after allegedly raping a drunken woman in a London nightclub maintenance room, a court was told today.
Ferdinando Orlando, 25, and Lorenzo Costanzo, 26, are accused of carrying out the attack in the side room near the toilets at the Toy Room Club in central London.
Both have pleaded not guilty to rape, claiming the woman consented.
But prosecutors say the woman was too drunk to be able consent, having been drinking since 11am that morning to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Isleworth Crown Court heard Orlando, studying a postgraduate degree in International Law, and Costanzo, who is taking a postgraduate masters degree in Business and Management, were at the club on February 26, 2017.
Prosecutor Allison Hunter QC said CCTV showed their brief interaction on the dancefloor before the alleged attack.
She told the court: “They can be seen to pass her from one to the other, each of them taking it in turns to kiss her.”
The court was told Orlando led the woman to the maintenance room as she held onto his waist, with Costanzo behind, steering her as she leaned into him.
They emerged from the room 16 minutes later, with the woman in between the two men, the court heard.
Ms Hunter said: “Orlando can be seen to re-arrange her dress, which was twisted and raised at the front.
“The pair propel her towards the ladies’ toilet, where they open the door and put her inside and turn and run down the corridor.
“They ran straight up the stairs to the outside, where they can be seen hugging, high-fiving each other, strong arming, laughing and looking at what appear to be images or videos on a mobile phone.
“They engage in gestures simulating sexual intercourse and oral intercourse and appear to laugh and congratulate each other.
“It is the prosecution case that she was not able to consent to what she sustained at the will of these two defendants,’ added Ms Hunter.
“Her capacity to consent was a matter of supreme indifference and irrelevance to them in their pursuit of their own sexual gratification.”
The woman said she had no recollection of the incident, having started drinking unlimited Prosecco at 11am, plus free shots and vodka at the club.
She said: “I remember being very drunk and falling over a lot and then I was in the toilets of the club in so much pain, not wanting to get out and then I remember being on the street, sitting on the sidewalk.”
After a French couple helped her home, the woman was taken to hospital for an injury between her legs.
She told police that, on a one to ten scale of drunkenness, she was a “ten”.
She added: “I do have a history of kissing randomners when I’m drunk.”
When cross-examined she agreed CCTV showed her grinding into Costanzo on the dance floor and flicking her hair.
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Orlando insisted they flirted with each other and exchanged compliments, but the woman told the court she had no memory of their conversation.
She agreed the CCTV showed them “kissing passionately”, but denied groping him between the legs.
Once in the maintenance room Orlando claimed the woman had consensual sex first with him and then Costanzo.
The trial continues.