Jury delivers firm manager rape verdict

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Former Arnold Bloch Leibler manager Dale Cooney has been found not guilty by a jury of two counts of rape.

Cooney was accused by a former colleague of rape in 2001.

But a jury began its deliberations yesterday morning, found Cooney, 47, not guilty yesterday afternoon.
Cooney’s lawyers maintained that the intercourse had been consensual, defence counsel Peter Morrissey SC telling the jury on Monday that the woman had made space for him on her bed when he came out of the bathroom, The Age reported.

Morrissey told the jury that the woman had lied in her allegations, saying that Cooney had thrown her against a wall and on the bed, but then told the jury that that hadn’t happened.  He said that Cooney had left the firm when his partner told him she didn’t want him working with the woman.

The woman reported her allegations to a friend at the firm and ABL launched an investigation that same day.  Steven Skala, who was a partner at the firm at the time, told the jury last week that he had advised the woman to contact police if anything happened against her will.

The woman reported the allegations to police in 2014.  The court was told she did not go to police at the time out of fear she would lose her job.

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