What rape acquitted will do next
A SURFERS Paradise photographer acquitted of raping an international student wants to set up a foundation to support men falsely accused of sexual offences.
Robert John Clarke, better known as Beau Clarke, was yesterday found not guilty of two counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault.
The 45-year-old cried tears of relief when the jury declared their verdict after three days of evidence in the Southport District Court.
It took them about two hours to determine Mr Clarke had not attacked the 19-year-old Laos student in his Q1 apartment on August 23, 2017.
His lawyer Campbell MacCallum, of Moloney MacCallum Abdelshahied Lawyers, said Mr Clarke was "excited" by the verdict.
"He has always maintained his innocence," Mr MacCallum said.
"He intends to continue to strengthen his relationship with his wife and wants to start a foundation for men who are falsely accused of such crimes."
It is understood the foundation would provide support and potentially financial assistance for men falsely accused of rape and sexual assault.
Mr Clarke declined to speak to the Bulletin.
The photographer started his career working in the dark room at the Bulletin before moving into advertising.
His Instagram account shows a number of pictures of the Gold Coast skyline as well as surfing.
Throughout the trial Mr Clarke had appeared calm and composed.
He had repeated he was innocent ever since police first spoke to him one day after the alleged incident.
The student had alleged Mr Clarke grabbed her, kissed her breast and carried her to the bedroom to rape and sexually assault her.
In a recording of an interview with police played to the court Mr Clarke appeared baffled by the allegations.
"We talked about it the entire weekend," he said.
"She said she loved me.
"I shouldn't have done it … not that … I'm married. I shouldn't have entertained the thought at all."
Mr Clarke said the woman appeared fine when she left and at no stage did she appear upset.