A JURY has been empanelled in the trial of former Newcastle Anglican dean Graeme Russell Lawrence, who faces one charge of sexual assault and another of indecency in relation to an alleged encounter with a 15-year-old male in the dean's house in 1991.
The Crown case is that Mr Lawrence - then the second-most senior Anglican in the Newcastle diocese - had sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old in his house, known as the Deanery, next door to Christ Church Cathedral, one night somewhere between April 1 and December 31 in 1991.
Mr Lawrence, who the court heard turned 49 in September of the year of the alleged assault, is pleading not guilty to the charges.
Crown prosecutor Craig Leggat SC said the Crown would allege that the boy had been helping pack up equipment in Christ Church Cathedral one night when Mr Lawrence invited him to the Deanery, saying there would be other people there.
But there were not, and Mr Lawrence allegedly took the boy into a room with framed photos of "naked boys" on the walls.
The Crown alleges that Mr Lawrence asked the boy if he liked the photos and he said "no".
It is alleged Mr Lawrence then told the boy to relax before pulling his tee shirt over his shoulders so that he "couldn't readily see".
Mr Lawrence then allegedly forced the boy to his hands and knees before pulling his pants down and sexually assaulting him.
Mr Leggat said that the boy did not disclose what happened to him until years later when he became a father.
Mr Lawrence's barrister, Paul Winch, said the defence case was that the event had never happened, and that Mr Lawrence had never escorted the boy to the Deanery at any time.
Mr Winch also referred to a floor plan of the building they had been given by the Crown, saying the jury would hear that the building was being repaired during the time in question, after significant damage during the December 1989 Newcastle earthquake.
The case resumes on Tuesday.