Auckland man Craig Koning on trial for rape denies using suicide threat to muzzle partner


Rape-accused Auckland man Craig Koning has rejected claims he was an angry, domineering person but voiced some regret at how he behaved around his ex-girlfriend.

Koning, 36, has denied two rape charges which relate to an alleged incident in 2004 when he was dating Amy Coronakes.

Koning gave evidence in his own defence on Thursday at the Auckland District Court, where the trial also heard from his sister, Mia.

The accused man frequently said he could not remember some events from 2004, or rejected prosecution claims about the alleged rapes.

Jurors have heard Coronakes claimed Koning grew enraged and threw food on the floor after she surprised him and a friend by turning up at his flat with a home-cooked meal.

“Looking back, I feel like a bit of an idiot for having a go at her bringing food over,” Koning said on Thursday.

“I wouldn’t say I mistreated her. I would say it was a bit of an overreaction.”

Koning faced questions from prosecutor Lily Nunweek.

He rejected claims he used the threat of suicide to muzzle his then-girlfriend after she accused him of rape.

“She liked you a lot and she wouldn’t have wanted you to do anything to hurt yourself,” Nunweek said.

“And that’s why you tried to use suicide to make her stay quiet.”

Nunweek said that before the alleged rapes, Koning intentionally threw the food Coronakes brought over onto the floor.

“I didn’t intentionally throw it on the floor,” he replied.

“You accidentally threw it on the floor?” Nunweek asked.

“I pushed it away and it ended up on the floor,” he replied.

“You don’t want the jury to hear that you did something that showed that you were behaving aggressively and angrily towards Amy,” Nunweek said.

She said Koning stopped his then-girlfriend from leaving and raped her that night.

“You had locked the door and you had pulled the curtains.”

“No and no,” Koning replied.

And Nunweek suggested Coronakes fell pregnant afterwards.

“You had sex with her without a condom on … and that sex was non-consensual.”

Koning denied that.

And he told the court Coronakes later called and said she wanted to have a baby with him, but he felt he was too young at the time to raise a child.

Jurors also heard from Mia Lux Koning, who gave evidence by videolink from New York City.

She said her brother and Coronakes had what seemed to be a happy relationship with nothing more than occasional minor bickering.

She said she also got along well with her brother’s “creative and expressive and very charismatic” girlfriend.

“Whenever we got together, her and Iwould go off for hours chatting together … We used to have a ball together.”

The sister insisted if she had seen or heard about her brother behaving abusively or disrespectfully, she would have intervened.

“I would have told my parents if I had to, whatever it took.”

She said Coronakes never mentioned rape or sexual assault.

“I assume Amy didn’t talk about sex life with your brother?” Nunweek asked.

“Not in specifics … Not the gory details, no,” the sister replied.

The trial before Judge June Jelas continues.

Coronakes, now 34 and living in Australia, has waived her right to automatic name suppression.

Where to get help:

• If it’s an emergency and you feel that you or someone else is at risk, call 111.
• If you’ve ever experienced sexual assault or abuse and need to talk to someone call the confidential crisis helpline Safe to Talk on: 0800 044 334 or text 4334. (available 24/7)
• Male Survivors Aotearoa offers a range of confidential support at centres across New Zealand – find your closest one here.
• Mosaic – Tiaki Tangata: 0800 94 22 94 (available 11am – 8pm)
• Alternatively contact your local police station
• If you have been abused, remember it’s not your fault.

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